Bison Quarantine Program Advances
Written by Andrew-Rossi on February 28, 2019
Five bull bison were moved from corrals a few miles north of Yellowstone to the Fort Peck Indian Reservation for the final stage of brucellosis quarantine.
The Billings Gazette reports that the action is a major step forward in the push to establish a long-term quarantine program for the park’s bison.
A truck picked up the five bulls from an Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service facility near Corwin Springs early Friday morning. That’s according to Robbie Magnan, the Fish and Game manager for the Fort Peck Tribes.
The bison, once part of an APHIS research project, traveled more than 400 miles to reach the reservation. There they were unloaded and moved into the corrals they’ll occupy for the next year, during another round of testing to ensure they’re free of brucellosis.
It’s a significant advance for the idea of quarantining bison on the reservation, and the bulls’ arrival will make use of a $500,000 quarantine facility the tribes built years ago.
The shipment comes three years after Yellowstone National Park first proposed quarantining bison on the reservation, an option meant to produce live bison that can establish new herds or enhance existing ones. It’s also meant to reduce the number of bison sent to slaughter each year as part of population control efforts.