Tag Archives: livestock

In Italy wolf predations are concentrated above all in the areas where the farmers do not adopt correct breeding practices…

A careful analysis of the collected information shows that the conflict between man and wolf is a socio-cultural, economic and political problem.

The inadequacy of farm management systems can be attributed to the inefficient economic exploitation of the livestock sector, to the lack of willingness to adapt its management to an environmental context in which a predator is present, to the divulgation of incorrect information.

By Brunella Pernigotti

Wolves have been persecuted and killed all over the world, but for different reasons. In Italy, for instance, the main cause of poaching and killing wolves is the conflict between farmers and predators.

Erika Ottone, in her own words explains to us the situation and the possible solutions: “MAN-WOLF CONFLICT: A SOCIAL-CULTURAL, ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL ISSUE by Erika Ottone, veterinary surgeon Spec.TePACS, GPCert (EXAP). Predations on domestic livestock are one of the main conservation problems of the Wolf, Canis lupus (Fernandez-Gil et al 2016; Mech & Boitani, 2003).

The predations are concentrated above all in the areas where the farmers do not adopt correct breeding practices that guarantee the custody and the minimum means of protecting the livestock (Linnell & Boitani, 2012; Marino et al., 2016). Checking the predations on the livestock is an activity carried out by a veterinary surgeon operating within the environmental managing agency and it allows to obtain information on management methods and above all to establish direct contact with the farmers of the territory. In fact, the ultimate goal of this activity is the identification of effective prevention and damage control plans for the livestock sector through the adoption of prevention tools and adequate breeding practices that could significantly reduce compensation damages and costs (Dalmasso et al ., 2012; Reinhardt et al., 2012)

Erika Ottone works with a Livestock farmer in Italy

A careful analysis of the collected information shows that the conflict between man and wolf is a socio-cultural, economic and political problem. The inadequacy of farm management systems can be attributed to the inefficient economic exploitation of the livestock sector, to the lack of willingness to adapt its management to an environmental context in which a predator is present, to the divulgation of incorrect information.

The predations are concentrated above all in the areas where the farmers do not adopt correct breeding practices…

There aren’t only the farmers involved in the men-wolves conflict, but all the citizens can favor the coexistence of men and wolves with their daily choices. In the National Park of Pollino PNP, engaged for some time in monitoring the conflict between canine and zootechnics, a medical-legal verification activity was conducted on predations to domestic livestock, following a standardized procedure that includes, in addition to the report of the anatomical-pathological investigation, the detection of environmental facts and information related to the management of farms.

National Park of Pollino PNP

The analysis of the number of predations in relation to the number of farms operating in the area, and to the management and environmental context, has made it possible to identify “critical areas” in which the damage caused by predation is serious and frequent only in some of the farms present in the area. The analysis of the management methods of the affected farms confirms that improper management of the farm and the absence of effective precautionary measures, such as security, guard trained dogs, suitable fences and stables for night shelter of animals, may be the main predisposing factors to the high number of predations in that farm. (Dondina et al., 2015; Ciucci et al., 2018). Therefore, the adoption of prevention tools and appropriate breeding practices identified for each farm could significantly reduce the damage (Dalmasso et al., 2012; Reinhardt et al., 2012).

The PNP and other Italian parks, don’t limit themselves to indicate and suggest management solutions but they also help the farms to realize suitable fences and deliver dogs on free loan of use with a stock of biscuits for dogs, thanks to the collaboration of some pet-food companies. The lack of adequacy of management systems in some cases is linked to a lack of will to change and adapt one’s own developed and inherited farm managing system that was born in the past, and that now doesn’t fit to a natural context in which predators are back. Farmers often report: “I have always done so, my grandfather and my father did so, now, just because you wanted wolves, have I to change?” It is easy to find a culprit and it is certainly easier to indulge than to educate; it is not easy to tell and explain the anthropic impact on nature, how man has changed the territory and how the wolf is now entering and adapting in a modified environmental context. It is not easy, yet in the work of monitoring the man-wolf conflict it is essential to engage in education and the divulgation of correct information. In some cases, management inadequacy is also the consequence of difficult economic conditions.

Farmers in large part are grouped together, thinking about their future, in a mood of pessimism. This situation is not only attributable to the conflict with the wolf, as the farmers themselves admit, but also to the poor economic valorization and the scarce consideration the farmers have: it often leads them to feel inadequate to the new social contexts. All the farmers operating in the area are aware of the presence of the wolf and the possibility of suffering predation, they know well that their animals are prey and that the predatory event is part of the natural role of a super predator such as the wolf, the problem is the repetition of predations, is the chronicity of the phenomenon. Unfortunately the precarious and frustrating situation that the sector is experiencing, the divulgation of incorrect information and the media exploitation of the “wolf question” mean that the predatory event, which certainly creates significant damage to the farmer, becomes the scapegoat of a situation that has its roots in an inadequate economic, social, cultural and political system.

Of course, we do not want to diminish the damage of predations on domestic livestock suffered by the farmer, damage which is recognized, compensated and which represents an opportunity for investigation aimed to improve the farm management methods, but certainly the damage in question would be perceived differently by the farmers in a greater economic and social development of the livestock sector. The improvement of the economic and social situation can and must be the prerogative of everyone: every single citizen can give value to the local animal husbandry by buying its good products, and helping in the education and divulgation of correct information, always checking the sources, inquiring and asking experts in the field. Therefore, it is not correct if we speak about a conflict between livestock and wolves, limiting the issue to the farming sector alone, but it is right when we speak about a Man-Wolf conflict. We are all responsible through our choices of this conflict which, with good will and without exploitation, can change into coexistence.”

Erika Ottone, veterinary surgeon Featured photography Of wolf by Antonio Iannibelli

The analysis of the management methods of the affected farms confirms that improper management of the farm and the absence of effective precautionary measures, such as security, guard trained dogs, suitable fences…

A Film Explores the thoughtful “Can Do” Approach Solving Serious Problems

“Living with Carnivores: Boneyards, Bears and Wolves” is a documentary film about living with large carnivores. The story begins a decade ago in western Montana’s Blackfoot River Valley and explores how a rural agricultural community responded to the resurgence of grizzly bears and wolves. The film explores the thoughtful “can do” approach of Montana ranchers who realized that the age old practice of dumping dead livestock onto “boneyards” was destined to spell trouble by attracting grizzly bears and wolves onto ranches resulting in poor outcomes for wildlife and ranchers.

At its core, this film attempts to illustrate that it is possible to transcend ideological divides and to solve serious problems in a polarized world.

Produced by Alpenglow Press Productions and Seth Wilson. Filmed and edited by Jason D.B. Kauffman, Alpenglow Press Productions. Narration by Craig Johnson

The Blackfoot Challenge

In the early 2000’s, ranchers and other partners of the Blackfoot Challenge (a community based conservation effort in Montana’s Blackfoot River watershed) developed a deadstock removal program. “Living with Large Carnivores: Boneyards, Bears and Wolves” is a newly released film that shares the journey of the folks of the Blackfoot Challenge as they work to find solutions for reducing conflict with carnivores on the agricultural landscape.
While the film demonstrates the work being done in one area of Montana, it also proposes the idea that by working together, from a grassroots level, we can learn to reduce the risk of living with large carnivores on our farms and ranches. The Blackfoot Challenge has provided a model for carnivore conflict reduction that can successfully be implemented in any part of the world.

Photo image credit PBS

Researcher found that nearly one-third of the diet of the wolves studied consisted of dump sites on nearby farms…

Dumping cattle carcasses is illegal in Michigan and Wisconsin. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that leaving carcasses in the woods, especially in wolf range, will attract wild carnivores. It’s just plain and simple common sense practice to dispose of livestock properly. Properly disposing of dead livestock also helps prevent the spread of diseases.

It can also be a lesson well learned as in the following story told to me a couple years ago by a woman living in wolf range. I was talking with a woman that lives in the country with a resident wolf pack nearby. I asked her if she had seen any signs of them lately, and she said she hasn’t seen them, but knows they are nearby. Then, she told me her tragic story. They had two dogs, one young and one older, and recently lost the older dog because of a mistake they made. She told me that they dumped their food scraps in a pit in the woods down behind their house; That one day she came out to the garage to find the young dog cowering in the corner. Then, she heard the older dog let out a screech from the pit out behind the house. She ran to the pit, looked down into the woods, and there was no sight of the older dog. They looked but never found a trace of him. They did find wolf tracks though. I asked them if they reported the incident to the DNR and she said no because it was their fault. She said they stopped dumping food scraps in the pit in the woods behind their house. They understand their mistake and tragically too late for their older dog. They live in wolf range and are also farmers. They also respect wolves and understand their place in the ecosystem.

Recently…Research In Upper Peninsula Finds Dumped Livestock Is Changing Predatory Behavior

A study led by Tyler Petroelje, a wildlife researcher and doctoral candidate at Mississippi State University, tracked the feeding behaviors of eight wolves from two packs in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. This research was part of a broader predator-prey study that investigated a variety of factors that affect deer populations in the region. As reported by Great Lakes Echo, the study suggested that dumping cow carcasses alters wolf behavior.

In the North Woods of Wisconsin and Michigan, a wolf’s natural diet typically consists of deer and beaver, Petroelje explained. But he found that nearly one-third of the diet of the wolves studied consisted of cattle carcasses from dump sites on nearby farm

The following is recommendations for disposing of dead livestock from Wisconsin’s Department of Agriculture

Livestock Carcass Disposal

Disposing of livestock carcasses is an important part of animal agriculture. Wisconsin law says that carcasses must be properly disposed of within 24 hours from April through November and within 48 hours from December through March.

Rendering, burial, burning and landfilling have been the typical means of disposal, but these are becoming less and less practical. Burial and burning create biosecurity hazards and threats to water and air quality. Rendering remains the best choice to protect the environment, public health, and animal health, but it is becoming more expensive and less available.

Cattle carcasses in particular are becoming more difficult and expensive to send to rendering because of federal regulations. The Food and Drug Administration, which regulates animal feed and pet foods, now prohibits using parts from cattle 30 months or older in any food for animals unless the spinal cord and brain are first removed.

We recommend composting carcasses to overcome these problems. Remember that composting is an active process.

Putting a carcass in the woods or on the back 40 to rot and/or be eaten by scavengers is not composting and:

• Risks disease transmission to your livestock and your neighbors’, and to wildlife.

• May contaminate water sources – including your well and your neighbors’ wells.

• Invites vermin and pests, including coyotes, that may transmit disease and prey on your livestock.

• Alienates neighbors and generally casts farmers in a bad light.

• Is illegal.

Foxlights is a non lethal predator deterrent device that is saving lives around the world

Foxlights Night Predator Deterrent

 “It is my belief Foxlights have the potential of assisting in the saving of many endangered species around the world.” ~ Ian Whalan

Ian Whalan is a sheep farmer from Austrailia. He invented Foxlights so he could sleep through the night, because it was too bloody cold out there to check on the sheep.  Before he invented Foxlights, he had no choice but to go out to scare off the foxes using flashlights.  He noticed that the foxes would run away from the lights.  In other words, this was where Ian Whalan got the idea to invent Foxlights in 2008.

Watch the following  Foxlights introduction video 

Foxlights mimic a human patrolling crops or livestock at night to keep predators away. 

www.foxlights.com
Foxlights are helping livestock producers coexist with snow leopards 
“As these numbers indicate, snow leopards sometimes have a taste for domestic animals, which has led to killings of the big cats by herders. These endangered cats appear to be in dramatic decline because of such killings, and due to poaching driven by illegal trades in pelts and in body parts used for traditional Chinese medicine. Vanishing habitat and the decline of the cats’ large mammal prey are also contributing factors.”(Source: National Geographic)

Watch the following video of how Foxlights are being used for snow leopard conservancy in Nepal

Video Published on Jan 27, 2015! Shortened version of snow leopard conservancy video showing how Foxlights are being used in Nepal


Foxlights are saving lives in Africa

Foxlights has the possibility to protect endangered animals. This tool is an inventive way to keep animals such as elephants and lions away from crops and livestock. This type of protection is new to Africa and has the potential to change the way people protect this type of endangered predator.”  ~Ian Whalan 

Watch the following video on how Foxlights are helping farmers keep African elephant out of their crops





Foxlights in Ireland are saving lives
 
 
Foxlights are saving lives in The USA

In Wildlife and Wolves, A Guide to Nonlethal Tools and Methods to Reduce Conflict by Defenders of Wildlife discusses How Foxlights stops human-wary predators from approaching, read on:
“A new device called the “Foxlight” avoids easily detectable patterns so that night predators do not quickly become accustomed to it. The Foxlight uses an intermittent series of lights in varying, random flash patterns to simulate human activity, such as someone moving a torch around, which stops human-wary predators from approaching.
Foxlights are still being tested in the field, but their effectiveness for reducing livestock losses appears to be short-term (30 days or less). Like other deterrents, Foxlights and similar devices may work best as a temporary deterrent or in tandem with other deterrents. Evidence also suggests that they may be more effectively used proactively to prevent predation rather than reactively to deter an ongoing problem.”  (Source)

  

Foxlights saving lives in California 

In the workshop Ranching With Wildlife Building Sustainable Communities, Preserving our Heritage flier, Project Coyote discusses how Foxlights are used successfully around the world, read on:  

Project Coyote Photograph
  
“Foxlights deter nighttime attacks by mimicking the appearance of a person patrolling pastures with a flashlight. Their dusk-to- dawn solar-powered sensors randomly flash LED lights at 360 degrees and can be seen up to a half mile away. Foxlights have been used successfully around the globe to protect livestock and crops from a variety of species including snow leopards, wolves, elephants, foxes and coyotes. Foxlights attach easily to existing fencing and are best placed where livestock bed down at night.” (source)

Contact information for Foxlights

FOXLIGHTS INTERNATIONAL PTY LTD

Address : 7/22-24 Sarsfield Circuit

Bexley North, N.S.W. 2207, Australia

Phone : +61 29150-9509
ian@foxlights.com

www.foxlights.com
Foxlights Shopping & Retail on Facebook
Fauna Tomlinson believes in the bright idea of saving lives with lights so much that she is helping to distribute Foxlights around the world. You can reach Tomlinson faunahoop@hotmail.com or 530-386-3311 
 rachelfoxlights@gmail.com Let’s see what happens when Wisconsin begins using the 25 Foxlights they just purchased. I’ve been in contact with them and will keep track of how they are working to save the lives of wolves.  ~Rachel Tilseth 

USDA Experiments With New Tool To Deter Wolves Foxlights Latest Method To Keep Wolves Away From Livestock click the blue highlighted words to read full story.