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Friday, February 3, 2017

Deal Will Allow Mass Slaughter of Yellowstone Bison

Above, bison in a meadow in Yellowstone National Park. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

A deal has been reached, following weeks of negotiations, on the slaughter of Yellowstone National Park bison.

According to CBS News:
BILLINGS, Mont. -- A deal disclosed Thursday will allow the mass slaughter of hundreds of wild bison migrating from Yellowstone National Park, while sparing 25 animals that American Indian tribes want to start new herds.  
The Associated Press obtained details on the deal between Montana, the park and the U.S. Department of Agriculture prior to its public disclosure.  
It resulted from two weeks of intensive negotiations and removes a political obstacle for the park after Montana Gov. Steve Bullock on Jan. 19 temporarily blocked Yellowstone’s plan to kill up to 1,300 of Yellowstone’s 5,500 bison this winter.  
The terms are likely to dampen public outcry by averting slaughter for most of a small group of bison that had been earmarked for a conservation effort intended at establishing new herds elsewhere.  
Bullock lifted the slaughter ban in a Thursday letter to Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk that outlined the agreement to spare the 25 bison.  
“My intent in invoking the (ban) was to prevent the slaughter of these bison and preserve them for transport to Fort Peck (Indian Reservation),” Bullock wrote. “The parties have committed that these animals will be quarantined and safeguarded until they are ready for shipment.”  
Wildlife advocates fiercely oppose the periodic slaughters of Yellowstone’s world-famous bison herds. Park officials say they have little choice under a 16-year-old program intended to curb the animals’ annual migration into Montana to prevent transmitting the disease brucellosis to cattle.  
Brucellosis can cause pregnant animals to abort their young.

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