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Yellowstone Bison slaughter

January 20, 2015 Leave a comment Go to comments

Hundreds of wild Yellowstone bison face needless deaths if Yellowstone National Park goes forward with a planned slaughter.

The killing may begin any day, and it has the potential to be the worst slaughter of wild bison since 2008 when 1,600 bison were sent to their deaths simply for roaming outside Yellowstone’s boundaries.

Things must change – Yellowstone’s leaders need to end this tragedy once and for all.

Tell Montana Governor Steve Bullock and Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk to end the shipment of bison to slaughter and let bison roam outside the Park.

Yellowstone National Park officials plan to follow a long-standing agreement with Montana and capture bison that leave the park for shipment to slaughter. Though Park employees are doing the work, make no mistake that the blame for this tragedy lies with the Montana Department of Livestock, who simply won’t tolerate wild bison outside the Park or allow bison numbers to grow beyond the arbitrary number of 3,000.

Some Montana ranchers claim that letting bison wander outside the Park exposes cattle to a risk for a bacterial disease called brucellosis. But in reality, there has not been a single documented case of bison transmitting the disease to cattle in Montana. The current capture and slaughter policy was designed by the livestock industry to treat bison like cattle.

TThe two people who can stop it are Governor Steve Bullock, who can prevent shipment of bison across Montana’s roads to slaughterhouses and allow bison to roam larger areas outside the Park, and Superintendent Dan Wenk, who can approve a plan to relocate healthy bison for desperately needed restoration elsewhere rather than ship to slaughter.

Urge Governor Bullock and Superintendent Wenk to stop this slaughter!

The common-sense alternative is clear: 1) expand the “tolerance zone” around Yellowstone National Park where bison are allowed to roam, allowing for greater numbers of bison outside the Park; and 2) when bison numbers are large, replace shipment to slaughter with relocation to start new herds elsewhere.

Yellowstone is home to the most important herd of wild bison in North America. Agencies plan to slaughter up to 900 of this 4,900-strong herd in the next few months, once again preventing the herd’s expansion and setting back bison restoration.

Bison are icons of the American West. Slaughtered by the millions a century ago, bison were driven to the brink of extinction. Today, we have an opportunity to reverse this national wildlife tragedy and restore wild bison around Yellowstone and elsewhere. We cannot let fear and ignorance rule the day.

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