By EMILY SCHABACKER/Montana State News
Some 1,300 wild bison from the greater Yellowstone area were sentenced to slaughter in earlier this month due to a potential brucellosis outbreak and overpopulation of the species within the park.
Controversy surrounds the annual slaughter as cattle ranchers work to maintain the current containment of bison inside park boundaries, while conservationists work to allow wild bison to migrate beyond the park’s borders.
Cattle ranchers fear that free range bison will spread brucellosis to cattle populations, consequently losing Montana’s status as a brucellosis free state, according to the United States Agricultural Department.
Many ranchers fear free-roaming bison will also threaten grazing land that is currently used for livestock. However, many environmental conservationists and animal advocates protest the slaughter, as there has never been a recorded transmittal of the disease from bison to cattle, according to the Buffalo Field Campaign of West Yellowstone. Continue reading “1,300 bison to be sent to slaughter”