Montana Senate passes measure to limit bison movement

Posted: Apr 9, 2013

Written by

Associated Press/GW

The Montana Senate yesterday approved a controversial proposal that would limit where bison can be moved and shrink herd size.

The bill, which passed by a 30-19 vote, specifically targets the moving of bison out of Yellowstone National Park. State Sen. John Brenden (R), who sponsored the bill, said those animals may carry brucellosis, a disease that can be fatal to cattle. Additionally, he worried that the bison could damage private property.

"If the federal government doesn't want to handle it, then Montana should," he said.

Those who oppose the bill said it is a reaction to state officials' relocation of Yellowstone bison last year (Greenwire, May 14, 2012).

State Sen. Sharon Stewart-Peregoy (D) said the bill ignored the bison's importance to American Indian tribes.

"You talk about being a good neighbor -- then be a good neighbor to the Indian nations," she said.

Montana's House Appropriations Committee also backed the measure yesterday, so the full chamber will likely soon vote on the bill.

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