Wild carnivorous predators do tend to cause serious damage to the livestock farms. According to an estimate by USDA, predators cost farmers close to $100 million annually in the United States, in livestock losses. Therefore, you should take measures to protect your livestock from becoming prey to the wild predators.
The wildlife services, which is a branch of the U.S Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, which is a major force in eliminating wild wolf and grizzly bear populations, spends millions of dollar every year to kill millions of wild animals across the United States. However, environmentalists argue that by killing wildlife, this program is actually wasting the valuable taxpayers’ money and destroying the ecological balance of nature.
New technology for controlling predators
Many ranchers and farmers are aware of the environmental impacts of killing large numbers of wild carnivorous animals and are rejecting the old methods of predator control which is often brutal, horrific, and cause ecological imbalance. Instead, they are using the new technology of animal husbandry, where livestock can coexist with carnivorous animals. It is widely believed by ranchers, conservationist scientists, and even former Wildlife Services trappers, that learning to coexist with these animals can help to preserve ecological balance, and our native magnificent carnivorous animals such as wolves and grizzly bears should be treated differently.
Scientific method of predator & pathogen control
In nature, all living creatures such as insects, birds, bacteria, fungi, spiders, ticks, etc. keep a balance and keep populations of each other in balance. So there is no need to use chemicals to control ticks or other pathogens. Similarly, keeping a balance between carnivorous and herbivorous animals is also important, and therefore, it is not recommended that we kill carnivorous animals in the wild to protect our livestock.
A more scientific approach to predator control is to retain the ecological balance in nature for sustainability of environment and human safety. There is a constant tug of war in nature between the carnivorous and herbivorous animals.
Controlling predators through livestock management
Again, it is very important to keep an ecological balance,harmony and biodiversity in nature intact, where every living creature adds a value and completes the entire picture of nature. Mother Nature has perfected the ecological balance through test of time and created a balance between all elements of the ecosystem. It is neither possible, nor necessary to get rid of all predators by killing them. Instead, a good management of livestock could effectively reduce predator attacks, and it would still be consistent with sustainable livestock production. Since every farm is different, no single method is suitable for all farms, and therefore, a farmer should be aware of all types of predator attacks and keep all options open.
When predators attack, they often go after the sick, young, weak, or old animals in the herd. Therefore, keeping your herd healthy and taking extra care of your young animals will pay off in more than one way. Keeping a good fence and guard dogs, to keep your herd safe, are also good techniques against predators.
We need to understand that every animal does its job in nature. Carnivorous animals are hunters by nature, and therefore they do what they are supposed to do. We must not use unethical ways of controlling predators. Killing wild carnivorous animals such as bears, coyotes, and wolves can throw off the natural balance in nature, and make maintaining a sustainable environment impossible. It is often better to use nonlethal methods, physical barriers, guard dogs and other animal management methods to reduce loss of your livestock through predator attacks.
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Source: Sustainable Livestock Nutrition