Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Merde Touch

To give Bush the most generous of excuses, I would think he probably wasn't in the White House demanding this, but his appointees sure were.

Leave it to his Administration to bring back one of the great environmental travesties in the nations history for a 21st Century visit:

More than half of Yellowstone National Park’s bison herd has died since last fall, forcing the government to suspend its annual slaughter program...More than 700 of the iconic animals starved or otherwise died on the mountainsides during an unusually harsh winter, and more than 1,600 were shot by hunters or sent to slaughterhouses in a disease-control effort, according to National Park Service figures.

As a result, the park estimates its bison herd has dropped from 4,700 in November to about 2,300 today, prompting the government to halt the culling program early.

“There has never been a slaughter like this of the bison since the 1800s in this country, and it’s disgusting,” said Mike Mease of the Buffalo Field Campaign, a group seeking to stop the slaughter program for good.

Government officials say the slaughter prevents the spread of the disease brucellosis from the Yellowstone bison to cattle on land near the park. Brucellosis can cause miscarriages, infertility and reduced milk production in domestic cattle. [..]

The USDA acknowledges that bison-to-cattle transmission is difficult to document, but it says investigations indicate that bison were the likely source of infections in cattle herds in Wyoming and North Dakota.

But critics call the culling an overreaction. There is no documented case of the disease passing from bison to cattle, they said.

Buffalo Bush.

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