The recently named national animal of the US is being sent to slaughter over a political dispute in Yellowstone National Park. It was recently found that 44 bison, which are part of one of the last remaining wild herds in the country, are being captured in Yellowstone National Park‘s Stephens Creek bison trap and are being sent to slaughter. These bison were born wild and have spent their lives growing up in the Yellowstone National Park, in the state of Wyoming, and are considered a national treasure. However, in the upcoming months, hundreds of bison will be caught and slaughtered in an annual cull.
In 1902, bison populations were at serious risk in the Yellowstone National Park, with only about two dozen left, which was largely due to an excess of hunting and poaching. Following these drastic declining numbers, intervention began as workers within Yellowstone worked hard to bring the species back from incredibly low numbers, which turned out to be a huge success.
However, following this, ranchers who were raising livestock in Montana decided that they no longer wanted the buffalo near their cattle, as they feared an outbreak of brucellosis, which is a disease that causes cattle to have miscarriages. The ranchers decided that they could not risk an outbreak of the disease within their herd, as it would seriously affect th.eir income. Despite this, it is believed that bison originally caught the disease from cow ranchers who had allowed their cattle to graze in the national park in 1917, and iniduals at the Buffalo Field Campaign (BFC) claim that the disease has never spread from wild buffalo to domestic cattle, and all female cows in the region are required to be vaccinated against the disease.
In 1995, the state sued the National Park Service (NPS) and a settlement was reached which created the Interagency Bison Management Plan. The aim of this plan is to maintain bison population numbers within the park below 3,000.
When population numbers exceed 3,000, the additional bison are sent to slaughter by native tribes or are shot by hunters. This means that the park is now slaughtering the very animals that it previously worked so hard for over a century to protect .