The estimated 4,000 bison in Yellowstone National Park are America's last true, wild herd. Yet, these iconic animals face harassment and slaughter whenever they leave the park in search of food.
It's a tragic story that plays out year after year. Each winter, members of the Yellowstone bison herd descend from the park in search of food. And each year, these animals are hazed back into the park (where food is scarce in the winter), and even slaughtered... all out of exaggerated fear that these amazing animals may transmit disease to the area's livestock.
Over 900 bison were slaughtered in 2005, over 1600 in 2008! Whenever the Yellowstone bison herd gets much larger than 3000, state and federal agencies kill them back in a twisted form of population control.
The latest bison count puts the herd at nearly 4,000, making them particularly vulnerable this winter.
Help stop the slaughter. Tell Interior Secretary Ken Salazar that America's last true, wild bison should be protected.
- United States Secretary of the Interior
As a supporter of Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund and someone who cares about protecting America’s native wildlife, I am deeply concerned by the ongoing slaughter of Yellowstone’s bison – the last true, wild herd of these amazing animals.
Each winter, members of the Yellowstone bison herd descend from the park in search of food. And
each year, these animals are hazed back into the park (where food is scarce in winter), and even
slaughtered… all out of exaggerated fear that these amazing animals may transmit the disease
brucellosis to the area’s livestock.
Yet there are no credible reports of brucellosis ever being transmitted from wild bison to livestock.
Over 900 bison were slaughtered in 2005 based on this fear. More than 1,600 were killed in 2008!
Livestock special interests are calling all the shots on how these bison are treated. This sort of
management harkens back to the days of old when bison were nearly eradicated from the continent
in mass slaughters across the plains. Only a few wild American bison survived that dark time, deep in Yellowstone’s backcountry, making the Yellowstone herd the most important wild bison herd in the country. I strongly urge you to do everything in your power to prevent the killing of Yellowstone’s wild bison and allow bison to roam more freely on the public lands outside Yellowstone.
One way to achieve this is to break the stranglehold that livestock special interests currently have
on Yellowstone bison management. Please give a voice to the majority of wildlife-friendly citizens by creating a formal stakeholder group that represents ALL interests to identify solutions and advise public agencies on this issue. Thank you for considering my comments.
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