Thank You!
Search OCA:
Get Local!

Find Local News, Events & Green Businesses on OCA's State Pages:

OCA News Sections

Organic Consumers Association

Wild Bison Slaughter in U.S. Breaks 20th Century Record

WEST YELLOWSTONE & GARDINER, MONTANA: Yellowstone National Park officials shipped 57 wild bison to slaughter this morning, bringing to 1,098 the number of wild bison killed this winter. This year's death toll surpasses that of 1996-1997, when 1,084 bison were killed, constituting the largest wild bison slaughter since the 19th century.

"More wild bison have been killed this year than at any time since the 19th century," said Dan Brister, Buffalo Field Campaign Project Director. "With the Spring migration just beginning and the government showing no sign of relief, this year's slaughter could easily surpass 2,000 bison."

Between February 8 and March 17, Yellowstone National Park and the Montana Department of Livestock have captured 1,040 wild bison and slaughtered 929. At least three have died from injuries sustained in confinement in the Stephens Creek trap inside Yellowstone National Park, where 108 bison currently await shipment to the slaughterhouse. State and treaty right hunts, which have ended, took a total of 166 wild bison.

"It would seem as though history was not learned the first time, for here we are today, watching these same government entities enacting the same policy," said Nez Perce tribal member James Holt.

While the government's official reason for the slaughter is to prevent the spread of brucellosis from wild bison to cattle, no such transmission has ever been documented and the bison being sent to slaughter are not being tested for the disease. Outside Yellowstone's western boundary there are no cattle on any part of Gallatin National Forest's Horse Butte Peninsula at any time of the year, making a brucellosis transmission impossible and Montana's intolerance for bison in the area unjustifiable. Along the northern boundary of Yellowstone, fewer than 200 head of cattle graze Church Universal & Triumphant (CUT) lands.

Thousands of people nation-wide have written, called, emailed, attended public meetings and otherwise contacted decision-makers involved in the Interagency Bison Management Plan, urging them to stop the slaughter and provide habitat outside of Park boundaries where wild buffalo can survive and freely roam. Thus far, their voices have been ignored.

"The government is ignoring the will of the people in its haste to cater to the demands of the livestock industry," said Stephany Seay, a spokesperson for Buffalo Field Campaign. "The people are insisting that the buffalo slaughter stop, but we are being ignored by a Park Service intent on killing buffalo by the thousands."

American bison of the Yellowstone region are the last truly wild bison left in the United States and currently number fewer than 3,500 individuals. They are behaviorally and genetically unique, still following their natural migratory instincts and are free from cattle-gene contamination. Less than 1.5% of bison in the U.S. are genetically Bison bison (Freese et al. 2007). Current genetic studies identified only 3 genetically pure bison populations: Yellowstone, Wind Cave and Grand Teton (Halbert 2003), with current studies on the latter two populations questioning their genetic integrity. In the United States, only one wild bison population has continuously occupied its native range since prehistoric time: the Yellowstone bison (Gates et al. 2005). Loss of genetic diversity stemming from the near extinction of the species (Boyd and Gates 2006) coupled with extreme loss of historic bison range (Hornaday 1889; Boyd 2003), raises the risk of ecological extinction for wild bison (Freese et al. 2007).

"The systematic destruction of these herds is decimating genetic diversity and destroying instinctual behavioral patters, wiping out family groups, paralyzing their evolutionary potential," said Seay. "All of these actions are being done under the guise of protecting Montana's brucellosis-free status, yet it is clear that brucellosis is a smokescreen being used to control public lands and prevent native wild bison from restoring themselves on their native habitat." More than 3,000 wild American bison have been killed or otherwise removed from the remaining wild population since 2000 under actions carried out under the Interagency Bison Management Plan (IBMP), as well as state and treaty hunts. 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: http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org.

For more information on this topic or related issues you can search the thousands of archived articles on the OCA website using keywords:

moomoo52
post Mar 28 2008, 03:23 PM



I strongly oppose the slaughter of our country's unique and precious bison and protest this senseless, wanton desecration of an animal which is venerated by American Indian citizens. I appeal that the killing be stopped and this species of native wildlife be allowed to live unmolested, in peace, according to the Creator's plan. This slaughter makes me ashamed to be American. Please restore my faith in our land and our ability to be humane and just.

ecoalex
post Mar 28 2008, 03:57 PM


There is much controversy over brucellosis,the conventional State Animal Industry folks say brucellosis is a viral disease, that cannot be cured.Eco/organic producers know brucellosis is a metabolic disease, which can be cured by nutrition.This takes brucellosis out of the incurable, viral disease genre , and is another example of adequate mineral nutrition for a healthy soil, and livestock.Organic /eco farmers know minerals trump synthetic fertilizers drugs any day.

commonsense
post Mar 28 2008, 04:08 PM


Last year, one Montana rancher was forced to lose many years spent improving his cattle herd because brucellosis was found in his cows. He did not get adequate reimbursement for his losses. Yellowstone has so many bison that they are destroying the vegetation of the park. When wandering bison are killed, the meat is used for food. If you would be willing to transport excess bison to Central Park in New Your City, I would be willing to contribute to theis cause. Otherwise, The things are reproducing too rapidly for their land. What would you do with the surplus?

dairydiva
post Mar 28 2008, 10:35 PM


QUOTE (ecoalex @ Mar 28 2008, 03:57 PM) *
There is much controversy over brucellosis,the conventional State Animal Industry folks say brucellosis is a viral disease, that cannot be cured.Eco/organic producers know brucellosis is a metabolic disease, which can be cured by nutrition.This takes brucellosis out of the incurable, viral disease genre , and is another example of adequate mineral nutrition for a healthy soil, and livestock.Organic /eco farmers know minerals trump synthetic fertilizers drugs any day.



Can you please explain how brucellosis is a metabolic disorder and can be CURED by nutrition? I am VERY interested in your response. Brucellosis is a disease caused by the organism, brucella. Animals can be vaccinated against brucellosis. Metabolic disorders cannot be vaccinated for. Brucellosis runs ramped through the bison in Yellowstone Park; therefore, making it necessary for population control not only for the bison and other wildlife but cattle near the park as well.

alorell
post Mar 29 2008, 11:31 AM


My interpretation is the Bison population is getting too big and the herds are wandering into human populated land even after they"ve been turned away by ranchers. It's either us or them. I consider wild Bison good safe eating. It's better than eating mass raised cattle.

ladycat
post Mar 29 2008, 03:07 PM


QUOTE (moomoo52 @ Mar 28 2008, 03:23 PM) *
I strongly oppose the slaughter of our country's unique and precious bison and protest this senseless, wanton desecration of an animal which is venerated by American Indian citizens. I appeal that the killing be stopped and this species of native wildlife be allowed to live unmolested, in peace, according to the Creator's plan. This slaughter makes me ashamed to be American. Please restore my faith in our land and our ability to be humane and just.


You would rather see them get overpopulated and starve to death?


--------------------
►►►Come join us at A Fabulously Fun FRIENDLY Christian Forum◄◄◄

Omari
post Mar 29 2008, 11:14 PM


Im sure "ole country boy Ted" would say the same thing alorell. Good eating, right

GeeBee
post Mar 30 2008, 02:19 PM


Alorell said,
"My interpretation is the Bison population is getting too big and the herds are wandering into human populated land even after they"ve been turned away by ranchers..."
While that is your interpretation, the fact is that the HUMAN population is too big! - We are overrunning the entire planet and decimating other species with an ignorant disregard of the importance of healthy, diverse ecosystems. This type of misguided, myopic, cruel, special-interest-driven behavior (slaughtering Bison with no scientific basis) will come back on us. We should be ashamed of ourselves!

Blissfood
post Today, 12:14 PM


If there are so many overpopulated Bison, why don't the Yellowstone National Park and the Montana Department of Livestock put these animals on trucks and distribute them to the sovereign Native American nations to care for and use for food?

Simple. Because the Yellowstone National Park and the Montana Department of Livestock want to sell these animals for a big profit.

I saw a recent documentary called "Standing Silent Nation" about Native Americans growing legal indigenous hemp plants on their land to sell for the making of rope, clothing, health care items. The DEA illegally entered sovereign land and cut down and confiscated the plants, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. They didn't burn it, they stole it.

The same thing is happening with the Bison, they are being stolen from public lands and sold to slaughterhouses for profit. The Yellowstone National Park and the Montana Department of Livestock should be ashamed of themselves, and should be liable to lawsuits from the public over theft of public property.

Hopefully once the Bush Administration leaves office, activity like this will end. They won't tax millionaires and multi-billion dollar corporations, but they will slaughter national property to make a few extra bucks. Disgusting!