Sunday, January 04, 2009

1616 Free-Living Buffalo Were Killed in Winter 2007-08: How Can We Stop This Carnage?


As of April 16, 2008: Yellowstone National Park had trapped over 1,600 wild bison migrating to winter range in the Gardiner Basin, and sent 1,276 bison to slaughterhouses. Hundreds more bison are trapped inside pens at Stephens Creek operated by the U.S. National Park Service. 7 wild bison died or were killed as a result of injuries suffered in captivity at Stephens Creek. 6 wild bison were shot by livestock inspectors for migrating just beyond the park borders. 112 wild bison have been separated from their mothers and family groups and sent to a USDA quarantine pen near Corwin Springs, Montana. The Montana Department of Livestock has trapped 146 wild bison on Horse Butte on national forest land and private lands, and shipped them to slaughterhouses. Another 166 wild bison were killed by hunters. By the Park Service's own estimate, two-thirds of Yellowstone's bison herd have been slaughtered or perished in the winter kill this season. Since the bison "plan" went into effect in 2000, over 3,500 wild bison have been slaughtered or removed from America's last wild bison herd. As if this wasn't bad enough, the cost of this wanton slaughter of America's last wild bison herd is all paid for by the American taxpayer, averaging $3,000,000 a year - now eight years into a fifteen year "plan".


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 habitat and advocate for their lasting protection. Currently, the Montana Department of Livestock manages wild bison that enter Montana, a role authorized under MCA 81-2-120. Under this law, crafted by Montana's cattle interests, wild bison are managed as diseased pests and forbidden to enter the state without being subjected to harassment or death. "It is a serious conflict of interest having the Department of Livestock in charge of managing wild bison," said Mike Bowersox, a coordinator with Buffalo Field Campaign, "You might as well trust the fox with guarding the henhouse."

Bison Advocates are calling on the Montana Legislature to repeal MCA 81-2-120, and instead support reasonable alternative management of wild bison as outlined under the Montana Wild Buffalo Recovery & Conservation Act of 2009. The Montana Wild Buffalo Recovery & Conservation Act of 2009, crafted by the Bozeman based Gallatin Wildlife Association, would place the management of wild bison in the hands of Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. The bill would also recognize wild bison as a valued native wildlife species of Montana. The bill also provides for the protection of private property for landowners who do not welcome wild bison.

For decades Montana has been squandering a national treasure by perpetuating a wild bison killing spree that has no basis in sound science nor any reasonable foundation whatsoever," said Buffalo Field Campaign spokesperson Stephany Seay. "It's time for sensible change; it's time to welcome wild bison back home to Montana."


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