Hundreds of Yellowstone National Park bison may be in danger of being sent to slaughter if the nation’s last purebred herd wander into Montana in search of food. Farmers in the state worry that buffalo infected with contagious disease will spread it to their livestock and lower their market value.
Al Nash, Yellowstone’s spokesperson, said the animals are not tolerated in Montana, and the park is ready to capture any that leave parkland. The current bison population is growing and is over 1,000 too many. It is estimated that 600 to 800 buffalo will have to be slaughtered to manage the growing herd.
Glenn Hockett, president of the Gallatin Wildlife Association in Montana, stated, “The idea that there are some surplus bison is absurd. Are there surplus elk being hauled off for slaughter? It’s a clear double standard of Montana failing to respect bison as the valued native species they are.”
In 2006, approximately 1,000 bison were sent to slaughter. Yellowstone managers rejected a plan last month that would have shot bison with absorbable projectiles containing vaccines because of its hefty 9 million dollar price tag. The fate of the Yellowstone bison herd remains to be seen, but we hope they are given the respect they deserve as inhabitants of this earth and Yellowstone parkland.
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