Under a new proposal from the National Park Service, Yellowstone Park bison that have been exposed to brucellosis could be transferred to testing facilities at locations across Montana. The first proposed location is on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation.
To be clear, these are animals that have not been ruled brucellosis free. The proposal is to quarantine and test the animals for the disease for a period of time, after which they would be released as wild, free-roaming bison on the Reservation.
Rule 1 in preventing a disease’s proliferation is to isolate the disease to one area. It makes no sense to transfer brucellosis-exposed bison to other parts of Montana.
UPOM has strongly objected to this proposal for the obvious dangers it presents to Montana’s agriculture economy. Moreover, the NPS has not taken into account the risks to property damage that free-roaming bison present to neighboring landowners.
You can read UPOM’s comments by clicking here.