Pinedale, Wy – There's a simmering controversy over plans
to trap as many as 300 elk near Pinedale and slaughter the female
elk that test positive for brucellosis.
The Game and Fish Department plans to begin the pilot project
within the next few weeks.
The so-called test-and-slaughter program was one of the
recommendations of a panel appointed by Governor Freudenthal to
control brucellosis in elk and cattle.
Several cattle in Wyoming tested positive for brucellosis in
2003 and 2004. That caused the state to lose its federal
brucellosis-free status and prompted other states to impose costly
requirements for the importation of Wyoming cattle.
Game and Fish officials hope that test and slaughter will reduce
brucellosis in elk.
But environmentalists say test-and-slaughter threatens to do
nothing more than kill scores of elk. They say that if the state
wants to reduce the incidence of the disease, it should shut down
the state-run elk feedgrounds in western Wyoming.