The Latest: Montana tribes' request for bison hits hurdle


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BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Latest on a request to relocated a group of wild bison from Yellowstone National park to Montana's Fort Peck Indian Reservation (all times local):

11:15 a.m.

A proposal to transfer wild bison from Yellowstone National Park to a Montana American Indian reservation is meeting resistance from state livestock officials.

Leaders of the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes on Monday asked the state Board of Livestock to support moving 49 bison captured last winter.

Tribal Chairman Floyd Azure says a $500,000 facility has been built on the reservation to keep the animals from escaping.

But state veterinarian Marty Zaluski told livestock board members that state law prohibits moving the bison until they are certified as disease-free.

Zaluski says the animals need to remain in quarantine inside or near Yellowstone for up to two-and-a-half years to be certain they're not infected.

Many Yellowstone bison carry the disease brucellosis. There have been no recorded transmissions from bison to livestock.

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3 a.m.

Leaders of the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux tribes want livestock officials to support the transfer of 49 wild bison from Yellowstone National Park to their northeastern Montana reservation.

Tribal Chairman Floyd Azure said he will make the request to the Montana Board of Livestock Monday.

The bison were captured last winter under a program that restricts the animals' seasonal migration into Montana.

Many Yellowstone bison carry brucellosis. That's a disease feared by the livestock industry because it can cause cattle to abort their young.

Azure says the bison have been tested to ensure they are not infected.

State veterinarian Marty Zaluski says brucellosis testing protocols call for the animals to be held in quarantine for up to two-and-a-half years. He says that only then would they be considered disease-free.

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