State and federal agents have killed 1,465 buffalo in one of America's last herd of bison this year, the largest toll in Yellowstone National Park since the the 19th Century, according to GAO figures quoted by the NRDC.
Here's how NRDC described the issue:
"In the coming weeks, Yellowstone buffalo will make their annual migration westward to calving grounds where they can find food and safely birth new calves. Many will head to the Horse Butte peninsula, located outside of Yellowstones western border in Montana. Typically, state and federal officials have attempted to aggressively force the animals back into the park for fear of potential disease transmission to cattle. This 'hazing' of the animals has created some ugly and unfortunate situations with calves being trampled by the startled stampede. ... Horse Butte is a wildlife rich peninsula, mainly on the Gallatin National Forest, extending over 10,000 acres from the border of Yellowstone National Park to Hebgen Lake, just outside West Yellowstone, Montana."
NRDC called this technique "brutal and unnecessary," and called on the governor of Montana and the federal government to enact a moratorium.
"The Horse Butte land is free of cattle, has new owners who welcome the buffalo, and is geographically isolated," NRDC said. "These factors completely eliminate the alleged justification for harassing these animals. Simply put, there is no conflict here, so there should be no killing."
The Government Accountability Office has also recently criticized government management of buffalo in this area. The government developed its policy to protect cattle from brucellosis, a disease in buffalo that harms pregnant cattle.
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