YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK CAPTURES 53 OF AMERICA'S LAST WILD BISON
Park Intends to Slaughter Without Testing; Calves May Be Sent to
Experimental Quarantine Facility
*For Immediate Release, February 8, 2008
Contact: Buffalo Field Campaign, Stephany Seay 406-646-0070
GARDINER, MONTANA - Yellowstone National Park officials captured 53 wild
American bison this morning inside the Stephens Creek bison trap located
within Yellowstone National Park's borders. The captured bison are
members of the last wild, genetically intact population existing in the
United States, and number fewer than 4,600. Most, if not all, will be
sent to slaughter without being tested for brucellosis antibodies.
"The National Park Service is caving in to the unreasonable demands of
Montana's livestock industry at the expense of an American icon, our
national heritage," said Stephany Seay, media coordinator for Buffalo
The bison were captured for following their natural migratory instincts
and walking onto 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. 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.
Yellowstone National Park officials said they will send the adult bison
to slaughter without first testing them for exposure to brucellosis.
Bison calves may be tested for brucellosis antibodies. If testing
occurs, those testing negative for antibodies will be sent to a
state-federal quarantine feasibility study facility, while the rest will
be slaughtered. More than half of the calves previously captured and
quarantined by the government have been slaughtered, while the rest are
being raised in pens like livestock.
Cattle interests claim such actions are necessary to prevent the spread
of brucellosis, a livestock disease introduced to native wildlife in the
early 20th century, from wild bison to cattle. However, there has never
been a documented case of wild bison transmitting brucellosis to cattle.
"In one day the National Park Service is sending more than half as many
bison to slaughter as have been killed during Montana's entire
three-month bison hunt," said Mike Mease, co-founder of Buffalo Field
Campaign. "When will the Park Service understand that they are in
charge of protecting our wildlife, not protecting cattle interests?"
2,120 wild American bison have been killed or otherwise removed from the
remaining wild population since 2000 under actions carried out by the
Interagency Bison Management Plan (IBMP), as well as state and treaty
hunts. The IBMP is a joint state-federal plan that prohibits wild bison
from migrating to lands outside of Yellowstone's boundaries.
Wild American bison are a migratory species native to vast expanses of
North America and are ecologically extinct everywhere in the United
States outside of Yellowstone National Park.
Buffalo Field Campaign strongly opposes the Interagency Bison Management
Plan and maintains that wild bison should be allowed to naturally and
fully recover themselves throughout their historic native range,
especially on public lands.
Buffalo Field Campaign is the only group working in the field, every
day, to stop the slaughter of the wild American buffalo. Volunteers
defend the buffalo and their native habitat and advocate for their
lasting protection. Buffalo Field Campaign has proposed real
alternatives to the current mismanagement of American bison that can be
viewed at_ http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/actnow/solutions.html_.
For more information, video clips and photos visit:_
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BFC is the only group working in the field every day
in defense of the last wild buffalo in the U.S.