Nearly 400 of the last true, wild bison in America are being held in federal corrals in Montana, waiting for the government to decide if they should be slaughtered.
Their crime? The bison left Yellowstone National Park for lower elevations after harsh winter conditions buried their food supply under deep snow.
Ranchers and the Montana Department of Livestock are claiming that the bison will spread the disease brucellosis to their livestock, but no case of bison-to-cattle transmission of the disease has ever been documented.
It's up to federal officials to determine whether these 400 bison will live or die.
These animals should be allowed to roam free, not executed over exaggerated science.
Speak out for the bison of Yellowstone National Park. Urge U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to find an alternative to killing these animals that just left the Park in search of scarce food.
- U.S. Interior Secretary
As a supporter of Defenders of Wildlife and someone who cares about protecting some of America's last true, wild bison, I implore you to intervene to prevent the slaughter of wild bison as they leave Yellowstone National Park each winter in search of food.
Almost 400 are now being held in a federal corral near Gardiner, Montana, and many more are likely on the way due to harsh winter conditions.
These corralled bison are being tested for the disease brucellosis. Those that test positive will be slaughtered.
Montana officials fear that the bison will spread disease to livestock; however, no bison-to-cattle transmission of brucellosis has ever been reported.
Other bison may be killed as well, since the corrals are only designed to hold 400 bison and federal agents have been aggressively rounding up all bison that stray from Yellowstone National Park.
These bison should be allowed to roam free beyond Yellowstone, not executed over exaggerated fears.
Federal officials should allow bison to roam freely in the Gallatin National Forest. Some bison should also be transferred to the Fort Belknap and Fort Peck Indian Reservations in eastern Montana where tribes wish to restore these amazing animals.
Without additional habitat, the terrible cycle of corralling and slaughter will continue. Our bison need more places to roam free.
Bison hold a special place in the American story. Please help act on common-sense solutions to prevent their slaughter.
Thank you for considering my comments.
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