A high proportion of Wyoming elk that reside on state run elk feedlots in the winter (or the National Elk Refuge near Jackson) are infected with or exposed to brucellosis. Elk that “winter out” have far lower infection rates, but WY Game and Fish, under pressure from ag interests, wants to keep those feedlots. So last winter they began a “test-and-slaughter” experiment near Pinedale to try to reduce the disease on the feedlots.
It failed, as many had predicted. The elk were killed for nothing.
Wyoming feedlot elk are center of brucellosis in the Greater Yellowstone. It’s not YNP bison. Both Montana and Wyoming have there own separate mythologies (stories or narratives) about elk, bison, and brucellosis.
While Montana’s bison slaughter is irritating, the head-in-the-sand stance of Wyoming ag and Game and Fish is frightening because they leave an open door to chronic wasting disease (“mad elk” disease) with their feedlots.
Read about test-and-slaughter in the Jackson Hole News and Guide. Article