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Monday, October 19, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Montana temporarily blocks bison slaughters

This March 9, 2016, file photo a group of Yellowstone National Park bison await shipment to slaughter inside a holding pen along the park’s northern border near Gardiner, Mont. (Matthew Brown / Associated Press)
This March 9, 2016, file photo a group of Yellowstone National Park bison await shipment to slaughter inside a holding pen along the park’s northern border near Gardiner, Mont. (Matthew Brown / Associated Press)
By Matthew Brown Associated Press

BILLINGS – Montana Gov. Steve Bullock has blocked the impending slaughter of hundreds of Yellowstone National Park bison over disease concerns until a temporary home can be found for 40 animals wanted by an American Indian tribe.

Bullock prohibited the transfer of any Yellowstone bison to slaughter in a letter to park officials obtained Wednesday by the Associated Press. The January 19 letter cited an executive order and was not previously publicized.

About 200 bison have been captured attempting to migrate from the park this winter. Federal and state officials have plans to kill up to 1,300 bison under a controversial disease control agreement.

Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk said the 40 animals wanted by Montana’s Fort Peck tribes faced possible slaughter because the park needs to clear space at the facility where they’re being held.

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