As part of a six-year study, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks captured bison from Yellowstone National Park and tested them and subsequent offspring for brucellosis transmission to determine whether they were a risk to cattle. With the study coming to a close, Montana FWP has to decide what to do with the bison.
Instead of returning them to Yellowstone National Park, Montana insists on keeping them captive.
To make matters worse, Montana FWP is considering the idea of allowing bison to be hunted as a big game species. This would include hunting of the captive bison. While hunting is often used in wildlife management, allowing bison to be hunted on fenced-in property -- in what can only be called a canned hunt situation -- is cruel and unnecessary.
Montana FWP is seeking approval from their Commission to proceed with their plans to keep bison in captivity and open the door to management using hunting.
Montana needs to stop treating bison as if they were livestock instead of wildlife. Bison should be allowed to roam freely, just as their ancestors did.
While hunting is often used in wildlife management, allowing bison to be hunted on fenced-in property -- in what can only be called a canned hunt situation -- is cruel and unnecessary. Bison are already persecuted for their role in carrying brucellosis and competing with livestock resources. However, elk pose a far greater danger of brucellosis transmission to cattle than bison.
While the FWP Commission considers the FWP agenda, I urge you, as a member of the Commission, to recommend that FWP treat bison as wildlife and not livestock. At every opportunity, captive bison should be returned to the wild. Those that remain in captivity must be exempt from hunting opportunities.
Thank you for your consideration,