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NAHMS Bison Studies

NAHMS Bison 2014

The USDA conducted the first national study of the U.S. ranched-bison industry from September 2014 through March 2015. The study focused on health and management practices in the U.S. bison industry to increase knowledge and understanding about the characteristics and challenges of ranched-bison operations.

The Bison 2014 study was conducted as a result of discussions between APHIS and representatives of the U.S. bison industry. Industry members and other stakeholders provided input for the study process.

Through a needs assessment  conducted online in 2013, NAHMS obtained input from bison producers, academia, State and Federal government agencies, animal health professionals, and other stakeholders to define the information needs of the industry. This input was used to develop the Bison 2014 study objectives:

  • Provide a baseline description of the U.S. ranched-bison industry, including basic characteristics of operations, such as inventory, size, and type.
  • Describe current U.S. bison industry production practices and challenges, including identification, confinement and handling, animal care, and disease testing.
  • Describe health management and biosecurity practices important for the productivity and health of ranched bison.
  • Describe producer-reported occurrence of select health problems and evaluate potentially associated risk factors.

All producers who reported having bison on the 2012 Census of Agriculture, conducted by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, were eligible to participate in Bison 2014 and received a questionnaire in the mail. As with other NAHMS studies, the study was national in scope, collaborative in nature, and voluntary. 

The Bison 2014 study was conducted by NAHMS under its designation as a statistical unit under the Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act (CIPSEA). By law, all information collected during the Bison 2014 study will be used for statistical purposes only and will be treated as confidential in accordance with CIPSEA guidelines. Bison 2014 results are presented only in an aggregate manner.

Info sheets and reports:

Bison 2014 study questionnaire  

Links for Information on Bison:

National Bison Association
National Buffalo Foundation
The Canadian Bison Association
Western College of Veterinary Medicine

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