Montana Outdoors

Feb 16, 2011 10:10 AM by News Staff (KBZK Bozeman)

Schweitzer's order to halt bison slaughter draws reaction

HELENA - Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer took executive action on Tuesday to block the moving and slaughter of some of the captured Yellowstone Park bison which are being held in a holding pen.

YNP Spokesman Al Nash says they were surprised by Schweitzer's move and plan to talk to their attorneys on how to move forward on a bison plan.

Nash told Montana's News Station that of the 525 bison in a holding pen, 217 of them have tested positive for exposure to brucellosis. Those animals would likely have been shipped to kill.

While the state has participated in past slaughters, Governor Schweitzer says he wants to send a message to federal officials that a new approach is needed on managing bison.

He added that in the interim, Yellowstone National Park should bring in hay to feed the 525 bison captured as they migrated to lower elevations for food.

"More than anything else, this is a direct signal to the\Department of Interior in Washington D.C. to get their hat\screwed on right and manage this bison population. Their plan is, when there gets to be a lot of snow, buffalo will go into Montana and then somebody else will have\to deal with it," Schweitzer said on Tuesday.

The Governor's executive order applies for 90 days.

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