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Workshop Participants Say “Stay The Course”

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Yellowstone National Park and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks concluded a workshop last week that examined the science behind brucellosis and the need for increased suppression of the disease in the Yellowstone bison population.  At the close of the workshop, the panel provided several key conclusions.  To date, they decided management to maintain separation between cattle and bison appears to be effective at preventing transmission of brucellosis between these species because no documented transmission has occurred under the Interagency Bison Management Plan. They also determined the best available data do not support that vaccination of wild bison with currently available vaccines would effectively suppress brucellosis which would warrant a change in bison management strategies. The workshop found that past and current culling and contraception of bison has not had an apparent effect on reducing the overall prevalence of brucellosis in the population.  The agencies will consider the panel’s findings in the ongoing development of short- and long-term strategies and issue a final report in about three months.

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