Yellowstone bison: Why are bison being shipped to meat processing facilities?


From the National Park Service


Why are bison being shipped to meat processing facilities?

  • The demand for bison for quarantine or research is minimal due to a lack of facilities, and the social capacity for public and treaty harvests near the park boundary is probably only about 300 to 400 bison each year due to the timing of migration, constricted area where bison are currently hunted, and the number of different management jurisdictions that authorize hunting of Yellowstone bison (4 tribes and the State of Montana). Thus, bison at times need to be removed from the population by other means, such as shipments to meat processing facilities, even though there is little political or social support for such actions.
  • At the current population level, there could be a mass migration of many hundreds of bison out of the park this winter if there is deep snow pack at higher elevations. Also, without harvests or culls, we predict the population will increase to nearly 6,000 bison by the end of winter in 2016.