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Scientists hand Ottawa a blueprint for a mass cull of bison
The Globe and Mail ^ | 21/03/06 | DAWN WALTON

Posted on 03/22/2006 9:44:03 AM PST by managusta

CALGARY — The document reads like a doomsday scenario for Canada's largest free roaming herd of bison.

Offer bounties to encourage hunting. Set up hunt camps. Radio-collar "Judas" animals to more easily track herds. Use corral-traps to corner about 4,500 wild animals. Shoot them from the ground and the air. Get rid of the remains so the carcasses -- many infected with bovine tuberculosis and brucellosis -- won't spread diseases.

All of this would happen in Wood Buffalo National Park, an area larger than Switzerland, that straddles the boundaries of Alberta and the Northwest Territories, under the stewardship of the federal government, which is supposed to look out for the well-being of the wild animals.

The so-called bison Holocaust isn't new. But it is rearing its head again as health officials around the world try to cope with diseases, including bird flu and mad-cow disease, that have health and economic implications for humans.

"Times are changing," said Chief James Schaefer of Salt River First Nation in Fort Smith, NWT.

In 1990, mass culling was recommended by the Federal Environmental Assessment Review Office. But news of the mass slaughter caused an outcry here and abroad. The controversial plan was shelved.

Mr. Schaefer said stakeholders couldn't agree on how to cull and repopulate the park with disease-free animals. For him and the 300 or so people who live near the park, the bison that wander in and out of invisible boundaries are part of a way of life.

"We depend too much on them for food," he said.

Last fall, 32 scientists met to figure out whether it was possible to eliminate the diseases from the park by culling the herd and then reintroducing the species.

Experts from Environment Canada, the University of Alberta and the Canadian Wildlife Service helped draft the 84-page "Proceedings of the Bison Disease Technical Workshop," which is making the rounds at Parks Canada.

Ottawa has not endorsed the scientists' plan.

"There is no active discussion between governments at this time," said Douglas Stewart, director-general of national parks with Parks Canada.

According to the report, the cull would take 10 years and the repopulation through salvaging the diverse genetic material from the disease-free members of the herd would take a decade after that. It would cost between $62-million and $78-million.

The report, however, doesn't say whether the cull should be done.

"The organizers recognize this controversy, but believe an answer to the technical feasibility of disease eradication is necessary to inform the broader policy questions surrounding the issue," the report said.

In other words, it doesn't kill the debate.

Interestingly, bovine tuberculosis, a chronic, debilitating respiratory disease that results in death, and brucellosis, which causes spontaneous abortions and stillbirths among infected cows, were imported when Ottawa shipped bison there in the 1920s to bolster the new park's population. The animals from Wainwright, Alta., contracted the disease from cattle, but so far, the disease hasn't been passed back to domestic cattle from the bison.

"This is something our industry has been working on for 30 years plus," said Ron Glaser, a spokesman with Alberta Beef Producers, which worries about losing Canada's disease-free status of domestic stocks.

Neither illness is treatable in a practical sense, said Gerald Hauer, Alberta's assistant chief veterinarian. Antibiotics are prohibitively expensive and the diseases are tricky to treat.

What about a mass slaughter?

"Lots of different groups have different opinions," he said, "Other people say let it run its course."

He doesn't know which option is preferable. There is a theoretical risk that the disease could spread to Alberta's beef or bison industries as wild bison mingle with domestic herds, but it is "quite small," he said.

"It is on the radar. We are concerned about it," Dr. Hauer said.


TOPICS: Canada; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bison; cull; hunting
Where is Buffalo Bill when you need him?
1 posted on 03/22/2006 9:44:06 AM PST by managusta
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To: managusta

Mass cull of bison? Time to break out the Henry.....


2 posted on 03/22/2006 9:46:26 AM PST by Rummyfan
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To: managusta

Who wants another burger?


3 posted on 03/22/2006 9:47:18 AM PST by rogue yam
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To: managusta

Hee Haw! Where do I sign up?


4 posted on 03/22/2006 9:47:20 AM PST by ElkGroveDan (California bashers will be called out)
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To: managusta
"Other people say let it run its course."

Because letting the animals die of respiratory failure is preferable to allowing them to be humanely put down. Benevolent Nature and all that Bambi-loving BS.

5 posted on 03/22/2006 9:48:41 AM PST by IronJack
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To: managusta

Time to clean off the 45-70 govt.


6 posted on 03/22/2006 9:52:25 AM PST by tcostell
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To: managusta

I tried Bison once. Didn't care for it. It wasn't horrible, Elk and Venison are just much better tasting.


7 posted on 03/22/2006 9:54:32 AM PST by trubluolyguy (Islam is a Cult of Death that has been infiltrated by a few non-violent believers.)
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To: managusta

Buffalo burgers are real yummy!!


8 posted on 03/22/2006 9:54:46 AM PST by RSmithOpt (Liberalism: Highway to Hell)
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To: managusta

This must be the latest move by "ranchers" to make the outdoors as park like as possible. All threats must be killed.


9 posted on 03/22/2006 9:56:35 AM PST by glorgau
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To: managusta
Tatonka! Nooooooooo!

10 posted on 03/22/2006 9:57:51 AM PST by Petronski (I love Cyborg!)
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To: trubluolyguy

Have you ever eaten a turtle burger?


11 posted on 03/22/2006 9:58:12 AM PST by ken5050 (Ann Coulter needs to have children ASAP to propagate her gene pool. Any volunteers?)
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To: managusta

I have an idea..just drill for oil there..it'll kill all the animals, according to the envirowackos...but at least we'll have some gas..


12 posted on 03/22/2006 9:59:01 AM PST by ken5050 (Ann Coulter needs to have children ASAP to propagate her gene pool. Any volunteers?)
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To: ken5050

No but I've had rattlesnake.


13 posted on 03/22/2006 10:00:09 AM PST by trubluolyguy (Islam is a Cult of Death that has been infiltrated by a few non-violent believers.)
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To: Rummyfan
Mass cull of bison? Time to break out the Henry.....

Cruel and a damned good way to get killed, shooting a bufallo with a popgun like that. In most of the states it isn't even legal to shoot a deer with something as wussie as a .44 rimfire.

So9

14 posted on 03/22/2006 10:14:59 AM PST by Servant of the 9 (" I am just going outside, and may be some time.")
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To: managusta

"Bless the beasts and the children"... anybody remember that maudlin film? Karen Carpenter (pbuh) did a good job on the song, though...


15 posted on 03/22/2006 10:16:20 AM PST by Migraine (...diversity is great (until it happens to you)...)
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To: Servant of the 9

My Sharps is in the shop!


16 posted on 03/22/2006 10:21:13 AM PST by Rummyfan
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To: ken5050

Also turtle stew, Chinese sweet & sour turtle, etc.

Anyone know where to apply for a hunting permit for these buffalo?

A hunting we shall go, a hunting we shall go,- -
;-)


17 posted on 03/22/2006 10:21:49 AM PST by GladesGuru (In a society predicated upon Liberty, it is essential to examine principle)
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To: managusta; fanfan; GMMAC

ping


18 posted on 03/22/2006 10:42:57 AM PST by proud_yank (Liberalism - The 'Culture of Ignorance'.)
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To: Rummyfan
My Sharps is in the shop!

I followed Teddy Roosevelts lead.
I found an old British blackpowder .500 Express double rifle.
Balistically identical to the Sharps big 50 and an instant followup shot.
He took one West with him as a young man.

So9

19 posted on 03/22/2006 10:51:17 AM PST by Servant of the 9 (" I am just going outside, and may be some time.")
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To: Migraine

I never saw the movie, but I recall the book being enjoyable in high school.


20 posted on 03/22/2006 10:58:27 AM PST by Roos_Girl (Help! Help! I'm being repressed!)
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To: proud_yank; GMMAC; Pikamax; Former Proud Canadian; Great Dane; Alberta's Child; headsonpikes; ...
Image hosting by Photobucket
21 posted on 03/22/2006 11:00:08 AM PST by fanfan ( "We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality" - Ayn Rand)
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To: ken5050

I loved turtle soup the one time I tried it.


22 posted on 03/22/2006 11:01:34 AM PST by fanfan ( "We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality" - Ayn Rand)
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To: fanfan

My father was one of the cowboys hired to round up the bison and load them on cattle-cars at the soon-to-be military base at Wainwright. I found some interesting info here.

Wainwright.http://collections.ic.gc.ca/canoe/cargo.htm


23 posted on 03/22/2006 11:26:07 AM PST by headsonpikes (Genocide is the highest sacrament of socialism.)
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To: Migraine

****"Bless the beasts and the children"... anybody remember that maudlin film? ****

That film was so bad that the makers even put advertizing in gun magazines to try to trick people to come and see it. The film was aimed at the Hippie generation, about 1971.
The Gus of Autumn, a so-called "documentary" about hunting ran on CBS, was just as bad. Some of the hunting footage of the polar bear hunt was faked and passed off as real.


24 posted on 03/22/2006 1:04:42 PM PST by Ruy Dias de Bivar
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To: managusta

78 million to kill 4500 buffalo?
i'll make 'em a deal...i'll do it for 50 million.


25 posted on 04/06/2006 6:44:50 PM PDT by KOZ.
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To: Rummyfan
Time to break out the Henry....

I may not have ever been a buffalo hunter...
but I think the big-bore versions of Sharps is more like it.
At least I think that's what the big-time buffalo hunter Billy Dixon used.
26 posted on 04/06/2006 6:50:47 PM PDT by VOA
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To: ken5050
Have you ever eaten a turtle burger?

You don't grind up turtle meat -- you fricassee it! I use a "modified fricassee" -- a recipe I got from a very elderly German woman (my friend's grandmother).

First you clean it. (After a trip to the hospital to sew up my finger, I refined that part of the process -- I first parboil it (after killing and bleeding), and then I clean it. The parboiling makes it possible to peel off the scales and outer skin without heavy knife-work -- or, the risk of slipping and gashing your finger!)

Once it's cleaned, you cut it into sections, and then boil them until tender.

Then, you batter and deepfry the pieces.

MMMmmmm.... GOOD!

27 posted on 04/06/2006 10:26:41 PM PDT by Don Joe (We've traded the Rule of Law for the Law of Rule.)
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To: KOZ.
i'll make 'em a deal...i'll do it for 50 million.

I'll do it for $25 million, AND, I'll haul off the meat for FREE!

28 posted on 04/06/2006 10:29:13 PM PDT by Don Joe (We've traded the Rule of Law for the Law of Rule.)
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To: Don Joe
damn you, undercut again.

that would make one hell of a bbq!
can you eat these things? or are they too sick?
29 posted on 04/07/2006 5:36:59 AM PDT by KOZ.
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To: KOZ.
can you eat these things? or are they too sick?

Quite delicious, actually. Somewhat reminiscent of lobster, in both texture and flavor.

30 posted on 04/07/2006 5:05:46 PM PDT by Don Joe (We've traded the Rule of Law for the Law of Rule.)
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Oops, mea culpa. I got my replies mixed up.

I was talking about snapping turtle, not bison. I've never had bison, but I understand it's pretty good eating. I'd like to try some some time.


31 posted on 04/07/2006 5:07:31 PM PDT by Don Joe (We've traded the Rule of Law for the Law of Rule.)
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