Officials to reduce Yellowstone bison herd by 600-900 through hunting, other options

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FILE – In this Aug. 3, 2016 file photo, a herd of bison graze in the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. One of the last and largest wild bison populations in North America has begun its migration out of Yellowstone National Park into southern Montana, where they are being hunted and will be subject to government-sponsored slaughter as part of a population reduction program. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown, File)

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — As many as 900 bison from Yellowstone National Park could be shot by hunters, sent to slaughter or placed in quarantine this winter in a program that seeks to prevent the animals from spreading a disease to cattle.

Federal, tribal and state officials agreed Wednesday that another 200 bison could be captured or hunted in late winter if conditions allow.

Bison routinely leave Yellowstone and head north into Montana each winter, raising concern the animals could spread brucellosis to cattle.

Currently, there are no documented cases of bison spreading brucellosis to livestock in the wild.

Yellowstone has around 5,500 bison.

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