Montana officials fearing the spread of the disease Brucellosis into its cattle industry has given the approval for 140 bison hunting permits this coming winter. Initially fish and game people had estimated 100 permits, which is double last year’s but upped that to 140 recently.

The bison herd is located in Yellowstone National Park and the herd also is infected with brucellosis, a disease that causes pregnant animals to abort their young. Montana eradicated the disease from its agricultural industry and wants it to remain that way.

Within the bison herd in Yellowstone, management plans call for a sustained herd of around 3,000. Presently, estimates are that there are 3,500 beasts running about. Yellowstone is not enclosed and the buffalo leave the park and wander into Montana threatening to spread the disease.

Tom Remington