Panel Rejects Brucellosis Plan

WASHINGTON - Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., fought back an effort by a New York congressman to address the brucellosis problem around Yellowstone National Park with a buffer zone advocated by Montana's governor.
calendar icon 20 July 2007
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Democratic Rep. Maurice Hinchey on Thursday offered an amendment to an agriculture spending bill based on a plan from Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer. The buffer zones would attempt to better separate livestock from bison that carry the disease, which infected a Montana cattle herd northeast of the park in May.

Hinchey's amendment would also have encouraged the Agriculture Department to spend $1.5 million to help finance an agreement with the Royal Teton Ranch, owned by the Church Universal and Triumphant, to allow diseased bison to graze on that property.

Hinchey mentioned Schweitzer's support for the plan in his amendment and in his remarks at the committee meeting.

But Rehberg objected, saying Schweitzer, a Democrat, is "really the only policymaker advocating this plan." The committee defeated the amendment.

Rehberg has advocated the current bison management plan, which was designed by the state of Montana, the National Park Service and the Department of Agriculture. It is designed to reduce the risk of brucellosis and allows the slaughter of bison, along with hunting of some animals outside the park. He has opposed the buffer zone idea, saying the problem should be dealt with inside the park.

For more information on Brucellosis, click here.

Source: CasperStarTribune
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