Again, it’s not about disease, it’s about control over land, wildlife and people.
- Bison in quarantine near Gardiner.
Photo © Kim Acheson, Buffalo Field Campaign
Used with permission.
While I think that the quarantine plan is misguided I do believe that those bison in the program should be allowed to roam freely as wildlife.
This bill would make it illegal to transport the bison over Montana’s highways which is done currently when bison are hauled to slaughter. Apparently the transfer of bison to the Eastern Shoshone Wind River Reservation in Wyoming would be permitted.
Another issue that is raised here is the fact that the bison currently at Fort Peck Reservation have been hybridized with another species, cattle. I don’t know what the plan is for managing any bison received from this program would be but I hope that they would be separated from any that are hybridized so that there is no further hybridization. Genetically pure bison are rare and they should be valued for their special nature.
The quarantine facility has other problems not raised in the article too. How does removing calves from the rest of their herd and raising them on alfalfa affect their behavior and social structure? Can that social structure be regained over time? Habituation to humans can cause severe problems in other species such as wolves, bears, and coyotes as well as other species.
What will happen to those bison that don’t get relocated? Will they be slaughtered too? These people seem to be pulling out every reason they can to be irrational about this issue.
Bison relocation plan deemed ‘too risky’
Helena Independent Record.