Yellowstone's Newborn Bison in Danger

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Originally Posted: 27 April 2010

Yellowstone's Newborn Bison in Danger

FROM National Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

Tell the Secretary of Agriculture to intervene right away and prevent the hazing of wild buffalo in the weeks ahead.

As living links to the great herds that once thundered across America's plains, Yellowstone's buffalo are a national treasure. Please join me in urging our government to protect them -- instead of subjecting them to needless suffering.


Sign an online petition

And/Or make direct contact:

Tom Vilsack
Secretary of Agriculture
U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Avenue S.W.
Washington, DC 20250
phone (202) 720-3631
fax (202) 720-2166


Photo by Jim Robertson, Animals in the Wild

Right now, newborn wild bison -- better known as buffalo -- are grazing under their mothers' watchful eyes on the lush Horse Butte peninsula near Yellowstone National Park in Montana.

But on May 15, this pastoral scene could turn ugly if the government begins hazing the buffalo back into the park with a helicopter, horses and ATVs, as they did last year at this time.

If this operation proceeds, some buffalo could die, including young calves and pregnant cows.

Please speak out immediately to stop the government's annual hazing operation. This wildlife tragedy replays almost every year on Horse Butte -- a birthing ground for the buffalo.

First, a helicopter invades the stillness, circling low to scare wild buffalo away from Horse Butte, so that government agents on ATVs and horses can chase them back to Yellowstone.

With no time to rest or nurse during this relentless chase, calves have collapsed and even died of exhaustion before ever reaching their grazing grounds deep within the park.

The saddest part? This senseless tragedy is unnecessary. The justification for hazing and killing buffalo is that they could spread the disease brucellosis to domestic cattle. That is why buffalo are generally not welcome outside Yellowstone Park in Montana -- and why thousands have been slaughtered or hazed back into the park in recent years.

But the fact is, there has never been a documented case of brucellosis transmission from buffalo to cattle in the wild.

More to the point, there are no cattle at all on Horse Butte, so there is absolutely no reason to haze and endanger Yellowstone's wild buffalo.

So please, help us give newborn buffalo a better chance at survival this spring.

Thank you for everything you do for animals!