HELENA, Mont. — Yellowstone National Park is launching a new program to capture and quarantine wild bison with the goal of establishing new, disease-free herds across the nation, park officials said Tuesday.

The program aims to help the conservation of the species by relocating wild Yellowstone bison to “suitable public and tribal lands” after they pass rigorous testing for disease, according to the National Park Service’s decision.

It also would cut down the number of bison that are slaughtered when they wander outside the park over concerns about the spread of disease.

“We’re hopeful that this will significantly reduce the number of animals that are shipped to slaughter,” Yellowstone spokeswoman Morgan Warthin said.

The number of Yellowstone bison reached a record 5,500 in 2016, and about 2,300 of the animals have been slaughtered and hunted since then, according to park officials. The targeted population set by the Interagency Bison Management Plan is 3,000, but park officials are happy with the current estimated population of about 4,200, Warthin said.

The program greenlighted on Tuesday will begin with 91 bison now being held in park facilities with testing for the disease brucellosis, which causes animals to abort their young.

The animals that initially test negative will be repeatedly tested for months before being transferred to another park facility