Contact Us

Are These Bison Wildlife or Livestock? Montana Courts to Decide

bison
Photo courtesy of kewing/Flickr

Are the bison on Montana’s Fort Peck Reservation wildlife or livestock? That’s the question Montana District Judge John C. McKeon is being asked to decide in a court motion issued by a collection of pro-ranching groups.

Citizen’s for Balanced Use executive board member Kerry White explained why the definition is important for ranchers who encounter bison that stray from the reservation.

“The management agency for wildlife is Fish, Wildlife and Parks and so they would be the only ones who would be able to do anything about the bison,” White said. “You couldn’t call the county sheriff, or the county commissioners. Plus, [the bison] could be diseased and Fish, Wildlife, and Parks doesn’t have anyone under the disease section… that all falls under the Department of Livestock.”

Some environmental groups are arguing that defining the bison as livestock simply because they were quarantined and shipped would make other animal shipments impossible.

“That’s not true at all,” White said. “State law relates to bison only. It doesn’t have any effect over transplanting or relocating any other type of wildlife. That argument simply doesn’t hold water. I think it may be thrown in there simply to confuse the court.”

White said that if the bison are defined as livestock it will give ranchers more options when dealing with potential conflicts with Bison such as broken fences, injuries, and the possible spread of brucelosis.

Kerry White:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

More From News Talk KGVO

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://newstalkkgvo.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on News Talk KGVO Radio quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here.

Register on News Talk KGVO Radio quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!