Source: Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives
The Manitoba government is launching a three-year applied research project to identify and test ways to reduce economic loss from wildlife predation of cattle and sheep herds, Agriculture and Resource Development Minister Blaine Pedersen announced today.
“Wildlife predation of commercial livestock is a significant problem for Manitoba producers, with more than 2,000 commercial animals lost each year,” said Pedersen. “This results in significant economic losses to producers, as well as higher costs to Manitobans through their share of compensation under the Wildlife Damage Compensation Program funded by the federal and provincial governments.”
The Manitoba government will provide a grant up to $300,000 over three years for the Livestock Predation Prevention Project, which will be developed and led by the Livestock Predation Protection Working Group. Members of the group include Manitoba Beef Producers, Manitoba Sheep Association, Manitoba Goat Association, Manitoba Trappers Association, Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development, Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
“Manitoba Beef Producers has long advocated for strategies to reduce the risk of negative wildlife-livestock interaction and conflict, and we are pleased to see this important project moving forward,” said Dianne Riding, president, Manitoba Beef Producers. “Predation-related challenges pose a significant concern for Manitoba’s livestock producers, who pride themselves on providing quality animal care and husbandry. This project will help improve the understanding of the risks, and work toward developing effective prevention and mitigation methods to reduce future losses.”
The project’s key activities will be:
• conducting on-farm predation risk assessments and planning in consultation with producers,
• testing on-farm predation prevention and removal practices, and
• sharing information with producers about management practices and research project results.
Pedersen noted the research project will target the highest-known predation areas and emerging problem areas. Currently, the highest incidence of predation is in the northern Interlake and Parkland regions.
The governments of Canada and Manitoba currently provide compensation to affected producers through the Wildlife Damage Compensation Program, up to a maximum of $3,000 per animal. This program has paid producers an average of more than $1.8 million annually in compensation in recent years.