Buffalo Protesters

For the last 4 years, the state of Montana has been killing buffalo that leave Yellowstone Park, come onto state land and can’t be hazed back into the park boundries. Between 30 - 150 buffalo have been killed per year. The dead buffalo are given to Indian tribes.

A group of about 5-6 people are holding a hunger strike in front of the state livestock building to protest the killing policy. They are peaceful, hold up signs and are camping on the front lawn. Most of the locals could care less. There was a 30 second news spot last night, most of the state papers have made this a page 3 article, it they’ve covered it at all.

I’m curious what non-Montanans think about the buffalo killings and the protest. These are some facts:

Montana kills buffalo who leave the park because some buffalo have brucellosis.

These buffalo are coming onto land that is used as cattle pasture.

Brucelosis can be passed on from grass that has been infected by afterbirth of a calf (buffalo or cattle). Brucellosis causes spontaneous abortion of calves.

The transmission of brucelosis from buffalo to cattle has never been proven, nor has it been disproven.

If any cow from Montana were proven to have brucellosis, ALL cattle from Montana would have to be tested for brucellosis. This would add $5-10 to the sale price.

There are many states that will not allow the import of cattle from a “brucelosis” state.


This is sad, although I don’t know anything about this topic. I really enjoyed seeing bison in Yellowstone. I also understand buffalo burgers are good. Rambling here, but if the Indians can use the meat and fur, I guess that’s OK.