Wyoming state veterinarian, Dr. Jim Logan, consulted in tribe’s acquirement of bison
November 9, 2016
The Shoshone tribe, in cooperation with the US Fish & Wildlife Services (USFWS) and the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), imported a small group of American bison to a privately (tribal) owned property near Morton and Pilot Butte reservoir on Nov. 3. Since June, these entities have involved the Wyoming state veterinarian in this process to assure that they were legally importing the animals according to Wyoming statute and the Wyoming Livestock Board's import regulations.
Recent articles in local publications may have given the perception that these bison were released to run in the wild on the Wind River Indian Reservation, and several people have expressed concern about safety and health risks from these animals. The fact is that the bison are contained in an approximately 300-acre pasture under good strong fence on private property.
According to state veterinarian, Dr. Jim Logan, the group actually went above and beyond state import requirements for domestic bison. All of the imported animals have tested negative for brucellosis and all are officially, individually identified as per USDA APHIS and state of Wyoming requirements. The female bison are brucellosis vaccinates. The origin of the animals is Iowa which is a brucellosis- and TB-free state.
"I have no concerns with the health status of these animals, and I do not believe that they pose any health risk to Wyoming livestock," Logan said. "During its planning for this translocation, the tribe, USFWS, and NWF requested my input on management and handling of the bison, and they accepted my recommendations. If the bison are well-managed and fed, there should be no problems associated with this effort."
He added that bison are regulated by both the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and the Wyoming Livestock Board through joint Chapter 41 Rules entitled, Bison Designated as Wildlife. This rule outlines protocols and responsibilities for bison running at large or privately-owned bison that breach containment, so there are rules in place to deal with escaped bison should that ever occur.
–Wyoming Livestock Board