Yellowstone Bison Pesticide Experiment Provokes Wildlife Activists
Wildlife activists are protesting a plan to kill an undetermined number of bison from Yellowstone National Park after scientists conduct a birth-control experiment on the animals with an EPA-registered pesticide with the goal of lessening the prevalence of brucellosis in the herd. Brucellosis is common among bison. It is the reason for hazing the bison back into Yellowstone every spring. Brucellosis is costly for ranchers who's cattle come in contact with the disease since it causes aborting of fetuses.
The seven year experiment will be conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture on a handful of the bison from the Yellowstone herd. Yellowstone last month granted the federal Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) a permit to pen 49 young female bison and four bulls for breeding at a research facility outside the park. The researchers are planning on using a birth control designed for whitetail deer, GonaCon. GonaCon is registered as a pesticide through the Environmental Protection Agency. All bison with brucellosis at the end of the study will be killed, from Reuters.com.