Show Some Love to Yellowstone Buffalo

Yellowstone Buffalo, the last genetically pure breed of Bison in the WORLD, are at the cusp of slaughter at the hands of the Montana Department of Livestock. They say the slaughter is in the name of brucellosis, but yet they don't even test them.

They hide their true agenda. Read on...

Dear Buffalo Supporters,
Montana intends to capture and slaughter wild buffalo, starting this week. Please take a moment to read this alert and contact the three decision-makers listed below, demanding that they cease plans to capture and slaughter approximately 300 wild buffalo, including little calves, their moms, and families.

The Montana Department of Livestock (DOL) has set up a bison trap near the West Yellowstone airport, on state land and they intend to begin capturing approximately 300 wild buffalo - including tiny newborn babies and their whole families - starting Thursday.

At an "emergency" Board of Livestock meeting in the Governor's office Tuesday, the decision was made by Montana's acting state veterinarian Jeanne Rankin: the agents will capture and ship all the buffalo to slaughter without testing for brucellosis exposure. Little buffalo calves between one month to a week old will be captured, separated from their moms, and join their family members at the slaughterhouse.

Yellowstone Superintendent Suzanne Lewis was asked at the meeting Tuesday if capturing and transporting the buffalo deeper into Yellowstone would be feasible. While (ironically) the DOL said it is feasible, Suzanne Lewis shot down this option. Apparently Suzanne Lewis would rather forfeit the lives of America's last wild buffalo. She said, "it has never been a policy of the Interagency Bison Management Plan to haul bison into the Park." In other words, she's attempting to wash her hands of this atrocity, handing the fate of these buffalo over to Montana, who intend to haul them all to slaughter.

These buffalo are being charged with the "crime" of trying to live wild and free; in other words, they didn't "stick in the Park" (as if they were velcro) and they are not "responding to hazing" (as if they should behave as cattle). The decision to trap and slaughter comes hot on the heels of brucellosis being discovered in a Montana cattle herd, far to the north and east of Yellowstone, far from any migration route of wild buffalo, far from Yellowstone National Park. There are no cattle currently in the West Yellowstone area and the majority of the bison to be captured and slaughtered pose NO risk of bacteria transmission. Because the bacteria can only be transmitted through contaminated reproductive materials, bison bulls, yearlings, non-pregnant females, calves, and mothers with calves CANNOT transmit the bacteria. Bison are not to blame. Wild bison have never transmitted the livestock disease brucellosis to cattle, and this incident is not their fault either. But the cattle industry wants to blame someone, and as always, they set their sights on wildlife.

These agencies are correctly concerned about the black eye they will receive for committing this act against the nation's last wild buffalo, and with your help, they will get it.


PLEASE CONTACT these three decision-makers TODAY demanding that they cease plans to capture and slaughter the buffalo who are trying to live wild and free! Contact each by phone, fax, and email and let's not let them forget that the world is watching!

* MONTANA GOVERNOR BRIAN SCHWEITZER: Demand that Schweitzer keep his campaign promise to provide tolerance for bison in Montana.
(406) 444-3111 (phone)
(406) 444-5529 (fax) (email)

* MONTANA ACTING STATE VET JEANNE RANKIN: Urge her to withdraw her decision to slaughter Yellowstone bison calves and family groups. Remind her you are boycotting beef and your friends are joining you!
(406) 444-1895 (phone)
(800) 523-3162 (phone)
(406) 444-1929 (fax) (email)

* YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK SUPERINTENDENT SUZANNE LEWIS: Ask her if it's really worth the lives of 300 wild buffalo, including newborn calves, to have Montana ship them to slaughter rather than deeper into the Park.
(307) 344-2002 (phone)
(307) 344-2005 (fax) OR (email)

It's crucial that we flood these offices today! Capture could begin as soon as Thursday, with transport to slaughter beginning Friday.


Jim Macdonald said...

Hey, thanks for posting this.

Just some clarification ... the bison will be slaughtered by the Montana Department of Livestock, not the USDA. Though the USDA administers the National Forests, it's Montana that has enforcement jurisdiction here. That's not to say that USDA hasn't traditionally supported the extreme policies of eradicating brucellosis, which they have. It is to say that the bison are caught in the crosshairs of a very complicated political situation, which is horrible for them.

I am personally very upset about what's about to happen. I wish the tourists who are blissfully unaware of the history of bison management knew what was going on, how screwed up it is, and turn on these crazy people who would use cattle as a bargaining chip to prop up a thoroughly messed up way of life. And, I'm not talking about ranchers quite as much as I am about all of us who consume in this larger society.

Anyhow, take care, and thanks. I'm sure that BFC appreciates this.


Hot Springs Guy said...

June 2nd, 2007 Update....

Dear Buffalo Friends,


This afternoon, Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer and Yellowstone National Park held a joint press conference in Helena, Montana, to announce that they WILL NOT SLAUGHTER any wild buffalo that remain in Montana come Monday! All those buffalo babies, their moms, and their families will live on!

This is a major victory for wild buffalo and their advocates worldwide! THANK YOU!

While the larger issue is far from being resolved, we should all take a deep breath and give thanks for this incredible news that we all helped make happen. The power, prayers, energy, spirit, love, and ACTION of all the people who care about the buffalo made this happen!

Here are the buffalo you helped save:

The word from Montana and Yellowstone is this: any wild buffalo found in Montana come Monday would be transported (captured and hauled in trailers) into Yellowstone National Park. They would be taken north, to Stephens Creek, and let go. This transport could be very hard on the buffalo, especially the small calves, so we are hopeful that it will not have to occur at all.

The long-term solution for wild buffalo is year-round HABITAT! Yesterday approximately 200 buffalo were forcefully pushed out of Montana (off of our National Forest lands), back into Yellowstone National Park. The agents used horsemen and a helicopter to conduct this operation. Today, the same thing happened, with about 50 buffalo (moms, babies, families) being pushed off of Horse Butte, deep into Yellowstone. Sadly, the buffalo were pushed extremely hard - especially by the helicopter - and they were shot with orange paint balls by the agents on horseback. It almost looked like a re-enactment from the shameful buffalo hunts of the 1800s. You can see footage from yesterday at

During today's operation, a baby buffalo collapsed from exhaustion and possible injury. BFC patrols stayed with this little calf and its mom until they were able to be strong enough to resume their trek to catch up with their family members who had been chased out of Montana. They made it!

This great victory is not without its shadow, as wild buffalo should be allowed to roam freely in Montana, especially on our public lands. We will keep fighting for the buffalo until they are wild and free. But we will celebrate that these buffalo will not be sent to slaughter and that is because you made it happen! Thank you all so much! You flooded them with calls, emails, faxes and IT WORKED! The governor and Yellowstone made the right decision.

ACTION NEEDED: Please take the time to call and say THANK YOU to Governor Brian Schweitzer and Yellowstone Superintendent Suzanne Lewis for choosing to let these buffalo live. Encourage them to work to acquire year-round habitat for wild buffalo in Montana!

* Governor Brian Schweitzer: 406-444-3111
* Yellowstone Superintendent Suzanne Lewis: 307-344-2002

From the bottom of our hearts and for all the wild buffalo ~ THANK YOU!!

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