Hundreds of wild Yellowstone National Park bison are set to be slaughtered this winter to curb their migration.

The Associated Press obtained details on the deal between Montana, the park and the U.S. Department of Agriculture prior to its public disclosure.

It resulted from two weeks of intensive negotiations and removes a political obstacle for the park after Montana Gov. Steve Bullock on January 19 temporarily blocked Yellowstone's plan to kill up to 1,300 of Yellowstone's 5,500 bison this winter.

Bullock lifted the slaughter ban in a Thursday letter to Yellowstone

 Wildlife advocates fiercely oppose the periodic slaughters of Yellowstone's world-famous bison herds. Stephany Seay with the Buffalo Field Campaign said what's needed is to repeal a law that places wild bison under the authority of the Montana livestock department instead of its wildlife agency.

'Stop the slaughter, let them roam and manage them just like we do with elk, just like we do with deer, just like we do with other wildlife,' Seay said.

Park officials say they have little choice under a 16-year-old program intended to curb the animals' annual migration into Montana to prevent transmitting the disease brucellosis to cattle.

So far this winter, hunters have shot more than 300 bison as they left the park seeking food at lower elevations in Montana, according to state wildlife officials.

Cold, snowy conditions are expected to prompt more bison to leave Yellowstone in coming days as foraging becomes more difficult.

About 400 migrating bison have been captured near the Yellowstone boundary and are being held for shipment to slaughter. Shipments will begin as soon as the park can make arrangements, Lyle said.

No transmissions of brucellosis from wild bison to livestock have been recorded, according to researchers and livestock officials. That's in part because more than 5,000 bison were killed or captured trying to leave the park since 1985.

Responses to "1,300 bison roaming Yellowstone National Park are to be slaughtered this winter"

  1. K.Whitney says:

    We have no right to slaughter these iconic animals. They have roamed Yellowstone since this great country was founded. Who are we to stop their migratory routes. We have to start protecting not only wildlife but their habitat as well. We have developed the lands and pushed so many species out of "Their " homes. It is not right and it has to stop. When I think of the open ranges or the rugged mountain ranges Buffalo, wolves & bears come to mind, and what a truly empty & sad world it would be with out them. They "ALL" have a right to live freely & unmolested or hunted to extinction.

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