Friday, January 28, 2011

SB 148 DPHHS Bison Management

I attended the Senate Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation Committee meeting on SB 148 earlier this week. It was 1hr of bison and landowner bashing. I sat to the left and behind the comment podium. The sponsor of the bill, Art Wittich, says there are too many buffalo and that if DOL was doing it's job of managing wild buffalo before the animal comes onto private land, there wouldn't be issues with landowners.

One interesting thing about SB 148 is the following quote from the bill Sec.1 Subsection (2)(c)
The department is not required to notify or obtain the landowner's permission to enter the property prior to conducting bison control activities if the department, the department of public health and human services, and the department of fish, wildlife, and parks all find that entry onto the landowner's property without notice or permission is necessary to protect the public health and safety.
In regards to seeking permission from both FWP and DPHHS, Christian MacKay had the following arrogant statement against the state of Montana, "We don't need the state or federal, especially federal offices looking over our shoulder [making] sure we are doing a good job."
I began laughing at this hole he dug.

Brucellosis-the B word- came up alot from a representative from Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) and Christian MacKay executive officer of the MDOL. MSGA made a statement that goes beyond the superficial. "[we] need to keep bison and cattle separate in time and space." When he said this a thought flowed into my head that he is not referring to fences, but literally 'time' and 'space.' Cattle and bison cannot be in this country at the same time. The bison need to go.

A friend of mine gave a excellent presentation on the different strains of brucellosis, livestock who carry it and the threat to humans. Here it is:
Sec. 1 81-2-120 Management of wild buffalo or bison for disease control. Whenever a publicly owned wild buffalo or bison from a herd that is infected with a dangerous disease, etc... action (d) states that disease is brucellosis.
Brucellosis is passed through birthing material, therefore there should be an amendement to not kill the bulls or females before or after breeding age. Brucellosis causes a cow to abort it's first fetus, so areas without cattle should be exempt. A human contracts the disease by either allowing the bacteria to enter a cut, breathing in the bacteria or drinking unpasteurized milk. If a landowner or anyone on their land comes that close to the buffalo, that person becomes the Public Health Issue.
B Suis is most often found in hogs and is more deadly to humans that that found in cattle.
B. melitenses is found in goats and sheep and causes the most severe illness in humans.
Brucellosis abortus, which is found in cattle and which the buffalo have a strain of has never transferred from buffalo to cattle, is not usually fatal in humans and the intermittent fevers can be exhausting and last a few days. This disease is CURABLE. No need to clear bison from the landscape, as Christian Mackay suggested.
Given all this information, Brucellosis abortus cannot realistically be considered a dangerous disease. Therefore, the entirety of Section 1 should be revoked.
I do support DOL having to receive landowner permission!

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