Press Release: Buffalo Allies of Bozeman Calls upon Gov. Schweitzer to Withdraw from Interagency Bison Management Plan
I plan on writing an essay pretty soon - for now, activism is taking a lot of my time. Here is another press release that our group has worked on. I try to avoid being quoted in these things, but here I am quoted this time.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Chris Klatt
June 12, 2008
Brucellosis outbreak where there are no bison shows that IBMP is not working for buffalo or for cows.
(Bozeman, Mont.) – The grassroots citizens group Buffalo Allies of Bozeman responded to the Monday announcement of brucellosis in a cattle herd in the Paradise Valley with a challenge to Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer to withdraw from the Interagency Bison Management Plan (IBMP).
According to a recent U.S. Government Accountability Office report, the IBMP “lacks accountability and transparency.” The IBMP has also been criticized by Gov. Schweitzer. Despite criticism, federal and state government agencies acted under the IBMP to sanction the slaughter of over 1,600 wild bison this past winter under the guise of preventing the spread of disease to cattle. However, the largest slaughter of buffalo since the 19th century did not prevent cattle in Greater Yellowstone from being afflicted. “There has never been transmission of brucellosis from bison to cattle in the wild, and it is clear that no link can be made between the current outbreak in Pray and Yellowstone’s buffalo herds, which haven’t been that far north in the Paradise Valley since they were extirpated for livestock interests. It’s time to scrap the useless IBMP, which treats buffalo as diseased, domesticated animals instead of as wildlife,” said Buffalo Allies member Jim Macdonald.
Buffalo Allies of Bozeman contends that there is no reason bison should be considered “a species requiring disease control,” as they are currently classified under Montana law. The group supports a legislative bill proposed by the Gallatin Wildlife Association, which has in part called for repealing Montana law 81-2-120, where bison are managed by the Department of Livestock as a disease issue.
“These American icons are the only animals that cross Yellowstone National Park’s boundary with a death sentence,” said Macdonald. “The current rhetoric from state officials refuses to consider that diseased Mexican Corriente roping cattle may have been the source of the outbreak in Pray. Let’s stop pouring tax dollars into a failed plan, where we spend more than what Montana’s economy will suffer for losing its brucellosis-free status.”
The grassroots group will be hosting a forum at the Bozeman Public Library on Monday, June 30, at 6:30 PM with State Representative Mike Phillips. This forum will introduce ways in which Bozeman residents can take action to stop the mistreatment of buffalo. In addition to these events, Buffalo Allies of Bozeman will be hosting a community potluck in Beall Park on Sunday, June 29, at 7 PM.
Buffalo Allies of Bozeman meets every Wednesday at 7 PM at Montana State University’s Strand Union Building. For more information, please visit: http://www.buffaloallies.org.