On Thursday evening (6/17), the U.S. House of Representatives narrowly rejected the Hinchey-Bass amendment to the Interior Appropriations bill, by a vote of 202 to 215. This amendment would have stopped the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service from aiding in the capturing or killing of buffalo that leave Yellowstone National Park and wander onto neighboring public lands.
Despite the valiant efforts of animal activists in support of the Hinchey-Bass amendment, special interest groups like the livestock lobby and even the National Wildlife Federation lobbied to maintain the use of tax dollars for slaughtering Yellowstone bison. While some cattle ranchers claim that the killing is necessary because wild buffalo can spread brucellosis to cattle (something that has never even happened in the wild), a far more plausible reason behind the killing is ranching interests' distaste over having to share public lands with wildlife.
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