In the wake of the National Park Service’s announcement of its plans to kill bison inside and around Grand Canyon National Park, the humane Society of the United States has offered to help develop and assist in implementing an on-the-ground joint program to manage the population in a humane way using fertility control technology. The program would model a highly successful bison population control program conducted on Catalina Island in California, reducing the birth rate to levels approaching zero.
In a letter to Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, The HSUS asked him to help broker an agreement with the National Park Service to avoid the blood-letting and to encourage the NPS to pursue an approach that is more consistent with the values that have long governed the management of perhaps America’s highest profile national park.
The federal government plans to first live capture and transfer bison to areas outside the national park where trophy hunters will shoot them for sport. The agency will allow sport hunters to kill bison within the boundaries of the park—an abrogation of the no-hunting policy that has long dictated wildlife management options.
The HSUS notes that the NPS failed to properly consider incorporating the use of humane fertility control tools that would lower the bison population within the park safely and maintain it at manageable levels without the need for killing.
Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States said: “Killing bison in the Grand Canyon runs against the mission and history of our country’s national parks, especially in Grand Canyon National Park. We can work with the Park Service to humanely manage the small bison population in the north section of the park, and everyone will benefit from this sound and proven approach. No sensible person wants to see Grand Canyon National Park lands turned into killing fields.”
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