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U.S. District Court to Hear Arguments for Preliminary Injunction to Halt Yellowstone Bison Slaughter

Journalist Chris Ketcham and media coordinator with Buffalo Field Campaign Stephany Seay will have their first day in court Friday when the U.S. District Court in Casper, Wyoming, hears arguments for a preliminary injunction to halt the planned Yellowstone National Park bison cull. The capture and kill operation is scheduled to start Feb. 15.

The lawsuit, filed on Tuesday, argues that the First Amendment guarantees citizens and journalists reasonable, non-disruptive access to the publicly funded national park.

Ketcham and Seay are seeking access to the controversial bison trapping operations that lead to the slaughter of hundreds of bison. During the capture and kill operation, the park service closes parts of the park to public access. The lawsuit, filed last week, argues that the First Amendment guarantees citizens and journalists reasonable, non-disruptive access to the publicly funded national park. The court will decide their First Amendment claims separately.

“This court order is necessary to protect Stephany's and Chris's constitutional rights while the case is pending or until full and reasonable access to observe the cull can be granted," Animal Legal Defense Fund attorney Stefanie Wilson said. “Given accounts of brutality during past culls, it is the public's right to know what is happening to the cherished Yellowstone bison."

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