Listen. We know that reading the phrase “bacteria-riddled afterbirth,” especially in the context of bison, isn’t the way you really want to start your after-Thankgiving day. Maybe you can just be thankful it’s not something you have to deal with on a regular basis.
It’s a verbal bouquet of loveliness comes from a story in The Atlantic about a proposed study on the wildlife contraceptive GonaCon, which Sex Feed reported on earlier this year as having been approved for use as birth control for New Jersey’s deer population. The USDA would like to study the bison of Yellowstone National Park to find out whether the vaccine could “stop the spread of brucellosis, an infectious bacterial disease that causes pregnant ungulates to abort their calves.”
About half the bison population at Yellowstone carries the bacteria, which was introduced via domestic cattle and “is primarily transmitted by contaminated birthing materials deposited on grazing grounds.” The USDA would like to study “whether temporary sterilization with GonaCon can prevent the shedding of bacteria-riddled afterbirth and help block disease transmission.”
Okay, that’s twice you’ve had to read that, but we had to show you it was legit.
Conservationists say it’s merely an experiment in population control but Montana’s state veterinarian, Marty Zaluski, believes the goals of the government and the conservationists for the park-bound bison are ultimately in alignment.