Wednesday, February 13, 2008

protect Yellowstone's--and America's--wild bison

I often wonder what we would do without the internet. We use it for recipes, research, entertainment, journaling, and shopping to name a few. The internet is also a powerful tool for spreading information, and so I'm kicking off wonderful web wednesday a little early with a call to action. Through the SheFinds Yahoo! group I found out about Yellowstone's slaughter of America's wild buffalo.

A press release from the Buffalo Field Campaign states: Yellowstone National Park officials sent 37 wild American bison to slaughter this morning, without testing them for exposure to brucellosis, the supposed reason for these actions. What really hit me was the word "without." Brucellosis in livestock can cause high incidences of abortions, weak offspring, arthritic joints, and retention of after-birth, and if spread to humans can lead to inconstant fevers, sweating, weakness, anemia, headaches, depression and muscular and bodily pain. For this reason I can see how infected buffalo may be killed if exposed to prevent the disease spreading to other bison and humans, but to slaughter 37 bison without having them tested is sick and wrong.

The release goes on to state: Cattle interests claim bison capture and slaughter is necessary to prevent the spread of brucellosis from wild bison to cattle. Brucellosis is a livestock disease introduced to native wildlife in the early 20th century. However, there has never been a documented case of wild bison transmitting brucellosis to cattle. Preventative measures are helpful and necessary in some situations but when talking about America's last wild, genetically intact population of bison (less then 4,600), "preventative" is just another word for "needless slaughter." I looked around a bit before posting to see if there were another side to this story but I couldn't find one. If you have information you can share, please comment on this post and fill us in on what you know.

Answer the call to action and use the power of the internet to spread the word via newsgroups, newsletters, blog postings, however and wherever you can. For more information visit Buffalo Field Campaign's website or simply search Google for the latest news on Yellowstone's slaughter of wild buffalo. --Emily

1 comment:

mom said...

We have 7 buffalos roaming the hills close to our home...I'm always checking to make sure they are all there. Once they posted a sign announcing the birth of some new buffalo...I think the whole community is watching and cares.