Cheyenne, WY – Several environmental groups today
(Thursday) asked a federal judge to order a halt to Wyoming's test-and-slaughter program.
The program started this year. The state tests elk for brucellosis and kills them if they're found to be positive.
Brucellosis is a bacterial disease that can cause pregnant elk, cattle and bison to abort their fetuses.
U-S District Judge Alan Johnson didn't rule immediately on the groups' request for an injunction to stop the testing program.
The judge also didn't rule on the groups' request that he order an environmental study of a dozen state-operated elk feedgrounds. Some of the feedgrounds never received permits from federal land management agencies.
Lawyers for the state and for the Wyoming Stock Growers Association asked Johnson to reject the groups' request for the injunction to stop the test-and-slaughter program. They said it's critical that the state continue the testing program to maintain its federal brucellosis-free status for livestock.