The issue is the fear of Brucellosis and the Yellowstone herd. I think around 50% of the bison have the disease and the worry is that they will infect cattle.I think they should do this with the "surplus" buffalo in Yellowstone. Ship them to new areas to establish herds, rather than ship them to a slaughter house. Either establish new herds, or issue more hunting permits. Leave it to the USFWS to find ways to spend money to reduce a herd size, rather than sell tags and generate revenue.
Same thing with the Yellowstone elk. Instead of selling tags at a premium to hunt a Yellowstone elk to reduce numbers they spend tens of millions on wolves to reduce numbers........
I believe you are correct. I also find it ironic that the Yellowstone Bison are believed likely to have contracted the disease from cattle grazed inside the park decades ago.Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe there has been a case proven of bison to cattle brucellosis transmission. But I still agree with the ridiculousness of the slaughter. At least Montana has agreed to allow more bison to roam off park year round now.
How many cattle in the books have come down with brucellosis now that the bison have been back?Good news and good read.
Some other Native American tribes already have bison herds, including our own Ute tribe. In fact, they donated some of the animals used to transplant bison to the Book Cliffs. (The majority came from the Henrys) Buff we now can draw tags for and hunt.
Yes, some cattlemen also protested the Books transplant as well.
None, and it won't happen. The Henry's herd and the Ute bison herd are both certified brucellosis free. Any Utah bison transplants would likely be from our own stock to keep it that way.How many cattle in the books have come down with brucellosis now that the bison have been back?
There has not been a documented case that can be fully attributed to bison. However there is an easy test. Put half a dozen infected bison on a sealed off plot of grazing land with half a dozen cows that do not have brucellosis. Let them graze together for 24 months testing the cattle every 3 months. After 24 months if no infection it is reasonably safe to assume that transmission does not occur.None, and it won't happen. The Henry's herd and the Ute bison herd are both certified brucellosis free. Any Utah bison transplants would likely be from our own stock to keep it that way.
A few more comments.
1. RE" Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe there has been a case proven of bison to cattle brucellosis transmission. "
Not necessarily. It has been proven to take place in the lab and probably in the wild.
Flagg DE. A case history of a brucellosis outbreak in a brucellosis free state which originated in bison. Proceedings of the US Animal Health Association. 1983;87:171-2.
Davis DS, Templeton JW, Ficht TA, Williams JD, Kopek JD, Adams LG. Brucella abortus in captive bison. I. Serology, bacteriology, pathogenesis, and transmission to cattle. J Wildl Dis. 1990;26:360-71 . DOIPubMed
Based on the close phylogenetic relationship between bison and domestic cattle, it is reasonable to assume that some transmission does occur. However, grazing and cattle management practices often an minimize the risk of exposure.
2. There is actually some thought that elk are a greater threat to giving cattle brucellosis than bison. This is due to the commingling of elk with cattle at critical times of the year when brucellosis is most likely to be spread.
3. Brucellosis IS a big deal to agriculture. A great deal of money and effort are spent to keep states brucellosis free and when an outbreak occurs and this status is lost, then the cattle industry in that state loses a lot of money and has greater difficulty moving their stock across state lines. It affects all cattle producers in the state, not just a few that do free range.
That said, this is as much a battle over grass usage and control as it is over brucellosis. Cattlemen dislike bison because they take up AUM's from them on public lands, bison plow through fencing like it is nothing and are destructive, and as usual, they probably see free range bison as a threat to their way of life. (Sound familiar?) While I recognize that buff would not be a good fit everywhere, I love to see stuff like what was in the original article and what the DWR did on the Books. I would love to see another herd or two established here. (I have no idea where) It might even help me draw the buff tag I hope to get someday.
They have done this and transmission has occurred. I put up 2 citations that listed as much. Sorry.Put half a dozen infected bison on a sealed off plot of grazing land with half a dozen cows that do not have brucellosis. Let them graze together for 24 months testing the cattle every 3 months. After 24 months if no infection it is reasonably safe to assume that transmission does not occur.
They already hunt wolves in Montana and Idaho. 50% of the YNP border is Idaho and Montana. We hunted wolves in Wyoming for a while. (sold thousands of wolf licenses, mostly to non-residents from Utah) Then the Feds shut us (WY) down because we weren't smart enough to write an acceptable wolf management plan, a plan similar to what Idaho and Montana had approved, a plan that the Feds and the court system would uphold.........................................why then are not wolves treated the same way? They pose an equal or greater risk to BOTH livestock AND game herds. All of the buffalo hunts being conducted currently occur OUTSIDE park boundaries, do the same for wolves.