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One way to solve the name controversy.
Many times you will see or hear the words
buffalo or bison and wonder what’s the difference?


The American Buffalo is not a true buffalo. It’s closest relative is the European Bison or Wisent and the Canadian Woods Bison, not the buffalo of Asia or Africa, such as the Cape buffalo or Water Buffalo. Scientifically, the American Buffalo is named Bison and belongs to Bovidae family of mammals, as do domestic cattle. Because our history has so ingrained in us the name "Buffalo" we still use it, although "Bison" and "Buffalo" are used interchangeably.

Many more water buffalo (which are the true buffalo) and water buffalo products have recently found their way into the United States markets. This has caused the Bison industry to rethink the term buffalo being applied to our "Bison" products. Therefore, the National Bison Association encourages all Bison producers and marketers to use the name Bison to avoid confusion with water buffalo and to help inform the American public that Bison is indeed the American Buffalo they know and love.


This page is displayed with the permission of Rocky Ridge Bison Farm, Elroy, WI.





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