Bison are now raised for meat and hides. Over 250,000 of the 350,000 remaining bison are being raised for human consumption. Bison meat is lower in fat and cholesterol than beef, a fact which has led to the development of beefalo, a fertile cross-breed of bison and domestic cattle. In 2005, about 35,000 bison were processed for meat in the U.S., with the National Bison Association and USDA providing a "Certified American Buffalo" program with birth-to-consumer tracking of bison via RFID ear tags. There is even a market for kosher bison meat; these bison are slaughtered at one of the few kosher mammal slaughterhouses in the U.S., and the meat is then distributed nationwide.
Bison meat is another name for buffalo meat. While bison is technically correct, the two names are used interchangeably to denote a large, four-legged, horned animal, usually brown in color, and similar to an ox or a cow. Bison meat is very lean and has become popular in supermarkets. It contains far less calories and cholesterol than either beef or chicken.