BILLINGS, Mont. — A deal disclosed Thursday will allow the mass slaughter of hundreds of wild bison migrating from Yellowstone National Park, while sparing 25 animals that American Indian tribes want to start new herds.

The deal was worked out between Montana, the park and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

It resulted from two weeks of intensive negotiations and clears a political obstacle to the park’s plan to kill up to 1,300 of Yellowstone’s 5,500 bison this winter. The terms are likely to dampen public outcry by averting slaughter for a small group of bison that was earlier earmarked by the park for conservation efforts.

Wildlife advocates fiercely oppose the periodic slaughters of Yellowstone’s world-famous bison herds. Park officials say they have little choice under a 16-year-old program intended to curb the animals’ annual migration into Montana to prevent transmitting the disease brucellosis to cattle.

Brucellosis can cause pregnant animals to abort their young. It was brought to North America by the infected livestock of early settlers but has since been eradicated nationwide except in Yellowstone-area wildlife, including bison and elk.

The spared animals will be relocated to Montana’s Fort Peck Reservation.

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