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Judge Tosses Montana Ranchers’ Suit Over Bison

BOZEMAN, Mont. (CN) - A judge on Thursday dismissed Montana ranchers' bid to restrict the movement of bison around Yellowstone National Park. The industry fears bison could spread brucellosis to domestic cattle.

District Judge John Brown in Bozeman rejected a lawsuit filed by the Montana Stockgrowers Association, which wanted to keep bison away from their herds' summer grazing grounds near the park.

Brown said the ranchers do not have enforceable rights under the Department of Livestock's bison management plan.

The agency, which manages bison under an agreement with federal officials, has long battled to keep bison from venturing too far from the park and has had to slaughter bison that strayed.

Bison advocates welcomed the ruling, as they generally want bison to be able to roam freely in search of grass.

Bison typically migrate outside the national park into Montana.

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