Six months after being captured inside Yellowstone National Park, 49 young buffalo are still confined inside the Park's Stephens Creek bison trap. These once wild bison were part of a group of 57 calves captured by the Park Service in February.
In May and June, eight of these bison were sent to slaughter after brucellosis antibodies were detected in their blood. The presence of antibodies, which condemned these young bison to slaughter, only indicates exposure to the livestock disease and not an actual infection.
Buffalo quarantine tears bison calves from their family groups, confines them in fenced pastures where they are fed hay, and subjects them to invasive livestock management practices for two to four years. Approximately half of all quarantined buffalo are slaughtered during the process, and any survivors are loaded into livestock trailers and transported to fenced pastures where they live out the remainder of their lives like domestic cows.
Yellowstone officials recently told BFC that the next mention of the captive buffalo will include a press release, something we interpret to mean that a decision on operational quarantine may be coming soon.