Stripping of Wildlife
"Species in need of management"
The following are the
Montana Code Annotated involving Bison in Montana. 87 is the subdivision
for Fish, Wildlife & Parks and 81 is the Department of Livestock.
(FWP) Wild buffalo or bison as species in need
of management -- policy -- department duties. (1) The legislature
finds that significant potential exists for the spread of contagious
disease to persons or livestock in Montana and for damage to persons
and property by wild buffalo or bison. It is the purpose of this section:
(a) to designate publicly owned wild buffalo or bison originating
from Yellowstone national park as a species requiring disease control;
(b) to designate other wild buffalo or bison as a species in need
of management; and
(c) to set out specific duties for the department for management of
(2) The department:
(a) is responsible for the management, including but not limited to
public hunting, of wild buffalo or bison in this state that have not
been exposed to or infected with a dangerous or contagious disease
but may threaten persons or property;
(b) shall consult and coordinate with the department of livestock
on implementation of the provisions of subsection (2)(a) to the extent
necessary to ensure that wild buffalo or bison remain disease-free;
(c) shall cooperate with the department of livestock in managing publicly
owned wild buffalo or bison that enter the state on public or private
land from a herd that is infected with a dangerous disease, as provided
in 81-2-120, under a plan approved by the governor. The department
of livestock is authorized under the provisions of 81-2-120 to regulate
publicly owned wild buffalo or bison in this state that pose a threat
to persons or livestock in Montana through the transmission of contagious
disease. The department may, after agreement and authorization by
the department of livestock, authorize the public hunting of wild
buffalo or bison that have been exposed to or infected with a contagious
disease, pursuant to 87-2-730. The department may, following consultation
with the department of livestock, adopt rules to authorize the taking
of bison where and when necessary to prevent the transmission of a
(3) The department may adopt rules with regard to wild buffalo or
bison that have not been exposed to or infected with a contagious
disease but are in need of management because of potential damage
to persons or property.
(4) The department may not release, transplant, or allow wild buffalo
or bison on any private or public land in Montana that has not been
authorized for that use by the private or public owner.
(5) Subject to subsection (4), the department shall develop and adopt
a management plan before any wild buffalo or bison under the department's
jurisdiction may be released or transplanted onto private or public
land in Montana. A plan must include but is not limited to:
(a) measures to comply with any applicable animal health protocol
required under Title 81, under subsection (2)(b), or by the state
(b) any animal identification and tracking protocol required by the
department of livestock to identify the origin and track the movement
of wild buffalo or bison for the purposes of subsections (2)(b) and
(c) animal containment measures that ensure that any animal transplanted
or released on private or public land will be contained in designated
areas. Containment measures must include but are not limited to:
(i) any fencing required;
(ii) contingency plans to expeditiously relocate wild buffalo or bison
that enter private or public property where the presence of the animals
is not authorized by the private or public owner;
(iii) contingency plans to expeditiously fund and construct more effective
containment measures in the event of an escape; and
(iv) contingency plans to eliminate or decrease the size of designated
areas, including the expeditious relocation of wild buffalo or bison
if the department is unable to effectively manage or contain the wild
buffalo or bison.
(d) a reasonable means of protecting public safety and emergency measures
to be implemented if public safety may be threatened;
(e) a reasonable maximum carrying capacity for any proposed designated
area using sound management principles, including but not limited
to forage-based carrying capacity, and methods for not exceeding that
carrying capacity; and
(f) identification of long-term, stable funding sources that would
be dedicated to implementing the provisions of the management plan
for each designated area.
(6) When developing a management plan in accordance with subsection
(5), the department shall provide the opportunity for public comment
and hold a public hearing in the affected county or counties. Prior
to making a decision to release or transplant wild buffalo or bison
onto private or public land in Montana, the department shall respond
to all public comment received and publish a full record of the proceedings
at any public hearing.
(7) The department is liable for all costs incurred, including costs
arising from protecting public safety, and any damage to private property
that occurs as a result of the department's failure to meet the requirements
of subsection (5).
(8) When adopting and implementing rules regarding the special wild
buffalo or bison license issued pursuant to 87-2-730, the department
shall consult and cooperate with the department of livestock regarding
when and where public hunting may be allowed and the safe handling
of wild buffalo or bison parts in order to minimize the potential
for spreading any contagious disease to persons or to livestock.
|81-2-120. (DOL) Management
of wild buffalo or wild bison for disease control. (1) Whenever a
publicly owned wild buffalo or wild bison from a herd that is infected
with a dangerous disease enters the state of Montana on public or
private land and the disease may spread to persons or livestock or
whenever the presence of wild buffalo or wild bison may jeopardize
Montana's compliance with other state-administered or federally administered
livestock disease control programs, the department may, under a plan
approved by the governor, use any feasible method in taking one or
more of the following actions:
(a) The live wild buffalo or wild bison may be physically removed
by the safest and most expeditious means from within the state boundaries,
including but not limited to hazing and aversion tactics or capture,
transportation, quarantine, or delivery to a department-approved slaughterhouse.
(b) The live wild buffalo or wild bison may be destroyed by the use
of firearms. If a firearm cannot be used for reasons of public safety
or regard for public or private property, the animal may be relocated
to a place that is free from public or private hazards and destroyed
by firearms or by a humane means of euthanasia.
(c) The live wild buffalo or wild bison may be taken through limited
public hunts pursuant to 87-2-730 when authorized by the state veterinarian
and the department.
(d) The live wild buffalo or wild bison may be captured, tested, quarantined,
and vaccinated. Wild buffalo or wild bison that are certified by the
state veterinarian as brucellosis-free may be:
(i) sold to help defray the costs that the department incurs in building,
maintaining, and operating necessary facilities related to the capture,
testing, quarantine, or vaccination of the wild buffalo or wild bison;
(ii) transferred to qualified tribal entities that participate in
the disease control program provided for in this subsection (1)(d).
Acquisition of wild buffalo or wild bison by a qualified tribal entity
must be done in a manner that does not jeopardize compliance with
a state-administered or federally administered livestock disease control
program. The department may adopt rules consistent with this section
governing tribal participation in the program or enter into cooperative
agreements with tribal organizations for the purposes of carrying
out the disease control program.
(e) Proceeds from the sale of live, brucellosis-free, vaccinated wild
buffalo or wild bison must be deposited in the state special revenue
fund to the credit of the department.
(f) Any revenue generated in excess of the costs referred to in subsection
(1)(d)(i) must be deposited in the state special revenue fund provided
for in 87-1-513(2).
(2) Whenever the department is responsible for the death of a wild
buffalo or wild bison, either purposefully or unintentionally, the
carcass of the animal must be disposed of by the most economical means,
including but not limited to burying, incineration, rendering, or
field dressing for donation or delivery to a department-approved slaughterhouse
or slaughter destination.
(3) In disposing of the carcass, the department:
(a) as first priority, may donate a wild buffalo or wild bison carcass
to a charity or to an Indian tribal organization; or
(b) may sell a wild buffalo or wild bison carcass to help defray expenses
of the department. If the carcass is sold in this manner, the department
shall deposit any revenue derived from the sale of the wild buffalo
or wild bison carcass to the state special revenue fund to the credit
of the department.
(4) The department may adopt rules with regard to management of publicly
owned wild buffalo or wild bison that enter Montana on private or
public land and that are from a herd that is infected with a contagious
disease that may spread to persons or livestock and may jeopardize
compliance with other state-administered or federally administered
livestock disease control programs.