Manitoba to study how to reduce the risk of livestock loss by predators
Commercial agriculture producers lose more than 2,000 animals each year, says province
The province announced Friday it will be researching how to help commercial agriculture producers protect their livestock from predators.
A grant of up to $300,000 will be disbursed over three years for the Livestock Predation Prevention Project, which will identify and test ways to reduce economic loss caused by wildlife predation of cattle and sheep herds.
"Wildlife predation of commercial livestock is a significant problem for Manitoba producers, with more than 2,000 commercial animals lost each year," Agriculture and Resource Development Minister Blaine Pedersen said in a news release.
The loss of livestock results in financial losses to producers, but Manitobans generally as well, because the producers are compensated by federal and provincial funding, Pedersen said.
Through the Wildlife Damage Compensation Program, producers can receive up to $3,000 per animal lost. This program has paid out an average of more than $1.8 million in compensation annually in recent years, according to the province.
"Predation-related challenges pose a significant concern for Manitoba's livestock producers, who pride themselves on providing quality animal care and husbandry," Dianne Riding, president of Manitoba Beef Producers, said in a statement, adding that this project will help raise the understanding of risks, while developing effective prevention and mitigation methods.
"Manitoba Beef Producers has long advocated for strategies to reduce the risk of negative wildlife-livestock interaction and conflict."
The three-year study will be led by the Livestock Predation Protection Working Group, whose membership includes numerous agricultural organizations, including Manitoba Beef Producers, Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development, Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
The project's main activities will be conducting predation risk assessments on farms, testing predation prevention and removal practices, and sharing information with producers about management practices and research results.
The project will target the worst areas, currently the northern Interlake and Parkland regions, said Pedersen.