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Wyoming Resuming Test-and-Slaughter Program for Elk

January 26, 2009.

Wyoming Game and Fish wildlife managers began year four of a controversial elk test-and-slaughter program Sunday, January 25th, on three feedgrounds around Pinedale, WY.

The experimental program was commissioned by Governor Dave Freudenthal’s Brucellosis Coordination Team as one of 28 recommendations to reduce brucellosis in northwest Wyoming.

In all, agency personnel have captured and handled just more than 1,200 elk in the first three years of the pilot project. From those animals, nearly 600 were test-eligible adult cows that were bled to test for exposure to brucellosis. Of the female elk bled, 113 tested positive for the disease and were removed from the population.

About $815,000 has been spent on the test and slaughter pilot project to date.

“I think that those monies could be better put to habitat improvement projects and working with landowners to see where we might be able to help ranchers with fencing and other mechanical separation [techniques],” noted one critic of the program.

Read more in the Jackson Hole Daily.

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