About Bill -- Links
HOUSE BILL NO. 643
INTRODUCED BY G. GUTSCHE
A BILL FOR AN ACT ENTITLED: "AN ACT REVISING STATUTES RELATED TO BISON MANAGEMENT; TRANSFERRING PRIMARY ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORITY OVER WILD BUFFALO OR BISON FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF LIVESTOCK TO THE DEPARTMENT OF FISH, WILDLIFE, AND PARKS; ELIMINATING THE PROVISION THAT BRUCELLOSIS-FREE WILD BUFFALO OR BISON MAY BE SOLD; DEFINING "LOW-RISK BISON" AND PROVIDING THAT LOW-RISK BISON ARE NOT SUBJECT TO BRUCELLOSIS TESTING OR TREATMENT; REQUIRING THE DEPARTMENT OF LIVESTOCK TO NOTIFY AFFECTED STATES OF MONTANA'S ADOPTION OF THE DEFINITION OF "LOW-RISK BISON"; REQUIRING THE DEPARTMENT OF FISH, WILDLIFE, AND PARKS TO DETERMINE THE ECOLOGICAL BISON-CARRYING CAPACITY ON PUBLIC LANDS ADJACENT TO YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK AND TO DEVELOP A PLAN, IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE TRIBAL LEADERSHIP COUNCIL, FOR MANAGING THAT CARRYING CAPACITY; REQUIRING THE DEPARTMENT OF FISH, WILDLIFE, AND PARKS AND THE DEPARTMENT OF LIVESTOCK TO REPORT TO THE 57TH LEGISLATURE REGARDING STATE BISON MANAGEMENT AND ANY PROGRESS ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF A LONG-RANGE BISON MANAGEMENT PLAN; AMENDING SECTIONS 81-2-120 AND 87-1-216, MCA; AND PROVIDING AN IMMEDIATE EFFECTIVE DATE."
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
Section 1. Section 81-2-120, MCA, is amended to read:
"81-2-120. Management of wild buffalo or bison for disease control. (1) Whenever a publicly owned wild buffalo or
bison from a herd that is infected with a dangerous disease enters the state of Montana on public or private land, except
low-risk bison as defined in 87-1-216(1)(c), and the disease
may spread poses a direct threat of spreading to persons or
livestock or whenever the presence of wild buffalo or bison may will jeopardize Montana's compliance with other
state-administered or federally administered livestock disease control programs, the department may, under a plan approved
by the governor, use any feasible method in taking one or more of the following actions:
(a) The live wild buffalo or bison may be physically removed by the safest and most expeditious means from
state boundaries public lands adjacent to Yellowstone national park, including but not limited to hazing and aversion tactics
or capture, transportation, quarantine, or delivery to a department-approved slaughterhouse.
(b) The live wild buffalo or bison may be destroyed by the use of firearms. If a firearm cannot be used for reasons of public safety or regard for public or private property, the animal may be relocated to a place that is free from public or private hazards and destroyed by firearms or by a humane means of euthanasia.
(c) The live wild buffalo or bison may be captured, tested, quarantined,
and or vaccinated. Wild buffalo or bison that
are certified by the state veterinarian as brucellosis-free may be : (i) sold to help defray the costs that the department incurs in building, maintaining, and operating necessary facilities
related to the capture, testing, quarantine, or vaccination of the wild buffalo or bison; or (ii) transferred to qualified tribal entities that participate in the disease control program provided for in this subsection
(1)(c). Acquisition of wild buffalo or bison by a qualified tribal entity must be done in a manner that does not jeopardize
compliance with a state-administered or federally administered livestock disease control program. The department may
adopt rules consistent with this section governing tribal participation in the program or enter into cooperative agreements
with tribal organizations for the purposes of carrying out the disease control program. (d) Proceeds from the sale of live, brucellosis-free, vaccinated wild buffalo or bison must be deposited in the state
special revenue fund to the credit of the department. (e) Any revenue generated in excess of the costs referred to in subsection (1)(c)(i) must be deposited in the state special
revenue fund provided for in 87-1-513(2).
(2) Whenever the department is responsible for the death of a wild buffalo or bison, either purposefully or unintentionally, the carcass of the animal must be disposed of by the most economical means, including but not limited to burying, incineration, rendering, or field dressing for donation or delivery to a department-approved slaughterhouse or slaughter destination. Disposal may not include public auction.
(3) In disposing of the carcass, the department,
: (a) as a first priority, may donate a wild buffalo or bison carcass to a charity or to an Indian tribal organization ; or (b) may sell a wild buffalo or bison carcass to help defray expenses of the department. If the carcass is sold in this
manner, the department shall deposit any revenue derived from the sale of the wild buffalo or bison carcass to the state
special revenue fund to the credit of the department.
(4) The department may adopt rules with regard to management of publicly owned wild buffalo or bison that enter
Montana on private or public land and that are from a herd that is infected with a contagious disease that
may spread poses
a direct threat of spreading to persons or livestock and that may will jeopardize compliance with other state-administered or
federally administered livestock disease control programs. A wild buffalo or bison that is designated as a low-risk bison, as
defined in 87-1-216(1)(c), is not considered to pose a direct threat to persons or livestock within the context of this section
and is not subject to brucellosis testing or treatment.
(5) The department shall notify all states that are affected by the department's livestock disease control program of Montana's adoption of the definition of low-risk bison."
Section 2. Section 87-1-216, MCA, is amended to read:
"87-1-216. Wild buffalo or bison as species in need of management -- policy -- department duties. (1) The
legislature finds that
significant potential exists for the spread of contagious disease to persons or livestock in Montana and
for damage to persons and property by wild buffalo or bison. It is the purpose of this section:
(a) to designate publicly owned wild buffalo or bison originating from Yellowstone national park that pose a direct threat of spreading contagious disease to persons or livestock in Montana, but not including low-risk bison, as a species requiring disease control;
(b) to designate
other wild buffalo or bison that pose a direct threat of damage to persons and property in Montana as a
species in need of management; and
(c) to designate wild buffalo or bison that are not otherwise designated pursuant to subsection (1)(a) or (1)(b) as low-risk bison. "Low-risk bison" means wild buffalo or bison that do not present a significant risk of transferring brucellosis to livestock through environmental contamination, including untested bulls, calves, yearlings, and postparturient female bison that have live calves and have totally passed all birth membranes when the bison have been temporally separated from cattle for 30 days or more; and
(d) to set out specific duties for the department for management of the species.
(2) The department:
(a) is the lead agency responsible for the management, including but not limited to public hunting, of wild buffalo or
bison in this state
that have not been exposed to or infected with a dangerous or contagious disease but may threaten
persons or property except low-risk bison, which are not subject to management by the department except as provided in
(b) shall consult and coordinate with the department of livestock on implementation of the provisions of subsection
(2)(a) to the extent necessary to ensure that wild buffalo or bison
remain disease free pose no direct threat to persons or
(c) shall cooperate with the department of livestock in managing publicly owned wild buffalo or bison that enter the state on public or private land from a herd that is infected with a dangerous disease, as provided in 81-2-120, under a plan approved by the governor. The department of livestock is authorized under the provisions of 81-2-120 to regulate publicly owned wild buffalo or bison in this state that pose a direct threat to persons or livestock in Montana through the transmission of contagious disease; and
(d) shall determine the ecological carrying capacity for wild buffalo or bison on public lands that are adjacent to Yellowstone national park and, in conjunction with the tribal leadership council, develop a plan for managing that carrying capacity.
(3) The department and the department of livestock are strongly urged to enter into an agreement with the national park
service for the long-term management of the Yellowstone national park wild buffalo or bison herd. If the national park
service does not proceed in good faith in a timely manner to enter a long-term management agreement that, in the
determination of the department and the department of livestock, responds adequately to the needs of Montana, the
departments are strongly urged to take appropriate court action. The department and the department of livestock shall
prepare a joint report to the
55th 57th legislature regarding the present state of wild buffalo or bison management in
Montana and any progress on an agreement for the long-term management of the Yellowstone national park herd.
(4) The department may adopt rules with regard to wild buffalo or bison that have not been exposed to or infected with a contagious disease but are in need of management because of potential damage to person or property."
NEW SECTION. Section 3. Notification to tribal governments. The secretary of state shall send a copy of [this act] to each tribal government located on the seven Montana reservations.
NEW SECTION. Section 4. Effective date. [This act] is effective on passage and approval.
- END -
Latest Version of HB 643 (HB0643.01)
Processed for the Web on February 18, 1999 (4:19PM)
New language in a bill appears underlined, deleted material appears stricken.
Sponsor names are handwritten on introduced bills, hence do not appear on the bill until it is reprinted. See the status of the bill for the bill's primary sponsor.
Status of this Bill | 1999 Session | Leg. Branch Home
This bill in WP 5.1 | All versions of all bills in WP 5.1
Prepared by Montana Legislative Services