Buffalo capture and slaughter continues in Yellowstone National Park.
Below is today's press release. Please continue to contact
Yellowstone Superintendent Suzanne Lewis, and urge her to stop the
slaughter now. Tell her that she and her agency are responsible for
protecting the national treasures in their care, not defending
Montana's cattle interests.
Use these numbers to get through to Suzanne Lewis:
- Yellowstone Public Affairs
- Yellowstone's main number
We have been told that the park is ignoring emails from the public,
which is an outrage. But if you live out of the country and cannot
afford a long-distance call and would like to send Suzanne Lewis an
email about this atrocity, you can send them to:
Thank you for being a voice for America's last wild buffalo!
BISON SLAUGHTER INCREASES IN YELLOWSTONE
Yellowstone National Park Sends 30 More Bison to Slaughterhouse;
Captures 44 More
For Immediate Release, February 12, 2008
GARDINER, MONTANA - Yellowstone National Park officials sent 30 more
wild American bison to slaughter this morning, without testing them
for exposure to brucellosis, the supposed reason for these actions.
This brings the week's wild bison slaughter count to 67.
This morning Yellowstone Park Rangers captured an additional 44 wild
American bison. Buffalo Field Campaign witnessed Yellowstone Park
Rangers hazing this group of buffalo from deeper in the Park, towards
the boundary, and they were subsequently captured. Most, if not all,
will be sent to slaughter facilities without being tested for exposure
to the livestock disease brucellosis.
Video of Yellowstone bison in the Stephens Creek Capture Facility:
Yellowstone National Park says they expect to send another 16 captured
bison to slaughter facilities tomorrow.
Cattle interests claim bison capture and slaughter is necessary to
prevent the spread of brucellosis from wild bison to cattle.
Brucellosis is a livestock disease introduced to native wildlife in
the early 20th century. However, there has never been a documented
case of wild bison transmitting brucellosis to cattle.
"The Park Service needs to realize that they are responsible for
protecting wildlife, not cattle interests," said Mike Mease, co-
founder of Buffalo Field Campaign.
Some bison calves have been tested for exposure to brucellosis. Those
testing negative - currently 17 - will be transported to the Corwin
Springs bison quarantine research facility, where they will be raised
in pens and treated like livestock.
Video of Yellowstone bison in the Corwin Springs Quarantine Facility:
On Friday, the Park Service captured 54 bison; on Sunday, 41 bison;
and on Tuesday 44. Since Friday, February, 8, 139 American bison (or
buffalo) have been removed from the last wild population in the United
States by Yellowstone National Park. All will be shipped to
slaughterhouses or a quarantine research facility.
"Originally the U.S. Calvary was sent here to protect the last
remaining bison found in Yellowstone," said Mike Mease, co-founder of
Buffalo Field Campaign. "How sadly ironic that millions of U.S. tax
dollars are now being spent to kill them for the sake of the unfounded
fears of Montana's cattle industry."
The bison were captured for following their natural migratory
instincts and walking onto or near habitat that is privately owned by
the Church Universal & Triumphant (CUT). CUT land hosts fewer than
250 head of cattle. Wild bison are also refused access to publicly
owned Gallatin National Forest lands adjacent to Yellowstone National
Park and CUT property. Gallatin National Forest lands were originally
set aside by Congress in the early 20th century as wildlife winter
range, as they realized Yellowstone did not provide the winter forage
needed by ungulates such as bison and elk. In the winter months,
grasslands in the Park are obscured by deep snow and bison and other
wild ungulates venture to lower-elevation habitat where they find
critical forage necessary for survival. Wild bison are the only
wildlife confined to Yellowstone's boundaries.
These bison are members of the last wild, genetically intact
population living in the United States, and number fewer than 4,500.
"The National Park Service is buckling to the unreasonable demands of
Montana's livestock industry at the expense of an American icon," said
Seay, "These bison are our national heritage, a keystone species
critical to the ecological health of native grasslands."
Federal and State actions serving Montana's cattle interests are
responsible for the deaths of hundreds of wild bison this year and the
death toll is likely to rise significantly. Tribal treaty hunts are
also underway. Bison killed or otherwise removed from the last wild
population during the winter of 2007-2008:
Montana and Treaty Bison Hunts: 112
NPS Captured (to be slaughtered/quarantined): 139
NPS Sent to Slaughter (Yellowstone North Boundary): 67
Highway mortalities (West Yellowstone): 5
This season's harsh winter is also starting to take a toll on wild
bison, who are finding it more difficult and sometimes impossible to
crater through the snow to get to critical forage for survival. Snow
banks from highway snowplowing around the West Yellowstone area are
making the bison's migration extremely difficult. Bison are getting
trapped along highway 191 and motor-collision mortalities are
2,188 wild American bison have been killed or otherwise removed from