Federal officials are considering removing the microorganism that causes brucellosis from the list of bioterrorism agents. Wildlife advocates, agricultural groups and state government officials support the idea because it would lift burdens on vaccine research.

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports that Brucella abortus bacteria have been on the list of organisms closely regulated by the federal government since the early 2000s. The regulations are meant to keep potentially dangerous organisms and toxins out of the hands of bioterrorists.

Removing Brucella abortus from the list would make it easier for researchers to get a strain of the bacteria and work on developing a better brucellosis vaccine. Currently, getting the bacteria requires large amounts of paperwork and restrictions that complicate shipping and research conditions.