Slaughter of Yellowstone Park bison gets green light

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Campaigners argue the imposing animals should be left to roam, but officials warn there is a chance they could infect cattle.

15:46, UK,Friday 03 February 2017

Hundreds of bison migrating from America’s Yellowstone National Park are set to be killed because of fears they could spread disease.

Montana governor Steve Bullock had blocked the plan to cull up to 1,300 of the park’s 5,500 bison this winter.

But after two weeks of intensive negotiations a deal has been struck between Montana, Yellowstone and the Department of Agriculture.

Officials say it is necessary to stop them spreading brucellosis to cattle as they head out on their annual migration.

The disease can cause animals to abort their young and has been eradicated in the US, apart from in Yellowstone.

However, researchers and livestock officials say no transmissions of the disease from bison to cattle have been recorded.

That is partly because more than 5,000 have been killed of captured trying to leave the park since 1985.

Wildlife campaigners strongly oppose the periodic culls.

“Stop the slaughter, let them roam and manage them just like we do with elk, just like we do with deer, just like we do with other wildlife,” said Stephany Seay from the Buffalo Field Campaign.

Some 25 bison will be spared so that Native American tribes can start new herds elsewhere.

They will be kept for a year in quarantine just north of the park in Corwin Springs, before being moved to Fort Peck, home of the Assiniboine and Sioux tribes.

Wildlife officials say hunters have killed more than 300 bison so far this winter as they left the park to search for food.

About 400 have also been captured trying to migrate and will be slaughtered. Meat from the animals is given to Native American tribes in the region.

An agreement in 2000 set a population goal of 3,000 bison in the park.

Yellowstone is renowned for its wildlife and spurting geysers such as Old Faithful, and spans nearly 3,500 square miles across Montana, Wyoming and Idaho.

5 thoughts on “Slaughter of Yellowstone Park bison gets green light

  1. This bison slaughter is another step to opening up hunting in National Parks–which is a goal of the Trump Regime and its Goldman Sachs cronies, along with the Nez Perce tribe “seeking hunting rights in Yellowstone.

  2. This bison slaughter is another step to opening up hunting in National Parks–which is a goal of the Trump Regime and its Goldman Sachs cronies, along with the Nez Perce tribe “seeking hunting rights in Yellowstone.”
    Many modern day “indigenous peoples” now make money by offering hunting trips as hunting guides, for rich folk just like Trump’s sons and friends. An Apache tribe in southern NM takes visiting hunters to hunt mountain lion, bear, for trophy etc., which brings in $$$. Never mind that the lions are in trouble.
    National Parks will be targeted by the Trump Regime, to open areas of these parks to hunting, if in fact, these federal lands can withstand the onslaught of oil and gas development, uranium mining which already has been approved around famous Chaco Canyon. This is just the beginning….stay tuned.
    So, are we just going to continue to cry wolf? boo hoo, boo hoo? I guess people get the kind of government they wished for. Trouble is, it will be the animals, the rivers, streams, soil and air– this poor planet that is going to suffer—I think the new illiterate term is “bigly.”

  3. Bison in Yellowstone totals around 5500. Experts agree that the Park could sustain 6000, so the “need” to send more to slaughter (or indirectly or by “hunting”) is false false. The Park has an agreement with Montana for the Dept. of Livestock (MT) to “manage” bison coming out of the Park for winter forage which results in the slaughter of hundreds each year. The states should not be managing wildlife like stock, nor telling the Park how to manage wildlife. The issue is really about sharing the public land with the bison, and expecting the naturally wandering bison to return to the Park by May so that ranchers can move in and graze public land. The Governor’s recent decision to allow bison west and north, 600 to 250 depending on the time of year, of the Park, was a giant step in the right direction in preserving the bison.
    Alternatives are to better manage bison-cattle interface on public, leased public, and private land outside the Park, to move more bison to other public land ranges, move more bison to Indian Reservations, where appropriate build bison resistant fences, more tolerance for coexisting with bison, and wildlife in general. Bison is still wild even if moved. The brucellosis argument is a false one. There has never been a documented case of infection from bison to cattle in the wild. Every single case of brucellosis transfer to cattle over the decades has been traced to elk as the most likely source. Ranchers could also do a better job of managing their herds with regard to elk, especially on public land.
    Ranchers may well be the main enemy of wildlife with their leases on public land and hostility to the wild and interruption of wildlife corridors. Moving bison to other public land also insures biodiversity and need not be just limited to Montana. Bison has already been successfully relocated. Bison is a keystone species (good for other wildlife ecology), iconic, symbolic of wilderness and much loved worldwide.
    Wildlife belongs to all Americans, all the world in a sense, and to itself, a precious heritage to be preserved. Ranchers leasing public land need to allow wildlife corridors and coexist with wildlife else give up those leases. Bison are an just example.

  4. “could infect cattle” There is the key and the reason for the slaughter. Once again, to satisfy ranchers in that area. So when is human species due for a cull?

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