Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Though Never a Documented Case of Bison-To-Cattle Transmission Of Brucellosis In The Wild Officials Yellowstone Corral And Ship Bison to Slaughter

They say they’ve stopped for now. But they’ll be doing it again soon.

Even more so, it seems brucellosis isn’t the real concern. They usually don’t’ even test the bison for the disease before sending to slaughter. From the article below:

“Under that plan, the park said 673 bison were captured at the Stephens Creek facility. Most of those - 583 - were sent to slaughter without first being tested for brucellosis. Another 87, calves that tested negative, were sent to a research site north of Yellowstone, while three bison died at the capture site, the park said.”

Gee, I wonder what their real motives are.

Park suspends bison capturing

http://www.billingsgazette.com/index.php?

display=rednews/2006/01/31/build/

wyoming/45-bison-capturing.inc

By BECKY BOHRER

Associated Press

Authorities at Yellowstone National Park have closed, for now, the corral-like capture facility near the park's northern edge where nearly 700 wandering bison had been held this month.

Park spokesman Al Nash said officials could reopen the Stephen's Creek site later, pending bison movement and the success of efforts to push wandering animals further into the park.

Authorities began captures Jan. 11 and closed the facility late Friday, Nash said. This winter was the first since 2003-04 that the site was operated, the park said. Nash said the number of bison sent to slaughter so far this year appears to be the highest, and certainly the most since the winter of 1996-97.

Nash said officials decided to ship bison to slaughter, instead of holding them longer-term, for fear of habituating the animals to people and feed.

"The fact is, we're not managing, and don't want to manage, a captive bison herd," he said Monday.

Josh Osher, of the activist Buffalo Field Campaign, dismissed this: "They probably just wanted to clean out the facility and get it ready for the next round of captures."

Wandering bison worry ranchers and livestock officials in Montana, because many of the park's bison have brucellosis. The disease can cause cows to abort, and having it spread to cattle could cost the state its brucellosis-free status. Animal rights activists have argued that there hasn't been a documented case of bison-to-cattle transmission of brucellosis in the wild, and that the plan that allows for bison to be hazed or captured to prevent the potential spread is flawed.

Under that plan, the park said 673 bison were captured at the Stephens Creek facility. Most of those - 583 - were sent to slaughter without first being tested for brucellosis. Another 87, calves that tested negative, were sent to a research site north of Yellowstone, while three bison died at the capture site, the park said.

The population estimate heading into the winter was 4,900 bison.

Groups such as Osher's and the Greater Yellowstone Coalition advocate greater tolerance for migrating bison outside the park. They see what's happened so far this winter as an opportunity to press for changes to the state-federal management plan that allows for the hazing, capture or slaughter of bison. Gov. Brian Schweitzer already has shown an openness to changes.

"I'm hopeful that what has occurred over the last several weeks will give us all pause and encourage us all to seek a better solution," said Amy McNamara, the national parks program director for the Greater Yellowstone Coalition.

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