June 10, 2009 in City, Idaho

UI investigating researcher over bighorn study

The Associated Press

MOSCOW, Idaho — The University of Idaho has opened an investigation into whether one its researchers suppressed information that appears to link bighorn sheep getting deadly diseases directly from domestic sheep on open range.

Marie Bulgin is head of the university’s Caine Veterinary Teaching and Research Center and a past president of the Idaho Wool Growers Association.

She has testified before Idaho lawmakers and in federal court that there is no evidence bighorn sheep can get deadly diseases directly from domestic sheep on open range.

She says she didn’t know about a 1994 study conducted by scientists at the research center on two dead bighorns that shows a link but never resulted in a paper being published.

Bulgin supported a 2009 bill backed by the wool growers to keep sheep ranchers from losing federal grazing lands that are used by bighorns.

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