Associated Press

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) -- Members of an influential Montana livestock group say they are not ready to allow wild bison to roam freely outside Yellowstone National Park until more is done to control a disease carried by the animals.

The Montana Stockgrowers Association rejected calls to show more tolerance for bison and passed resolutions Friday advocating slaughter and other means to control the animal's population.

The group also urged government agencies to reverse last winter's decision to allow hundreds of Yellowstone bison to migrate into Montana's Gardiner basin.

The resolutions cited the risks of bison spreading the disease brucellosis and competing with cattle for forage.

But Jim Hagenbarth, a Dillon rancher and former chairman of the Board of Livestock, says livestock owners need to do more to manage their cattle to prevent infections.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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