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Black Vulture depredation a priority for KY, US Farm Bureaus
Last year, black vultures accounted for losses of 174 calves and 10 cows in Kentucky alone
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By Joe Cain, Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation
Forwarded by Nick Roy, Adair County Extension Agent
Black vulture depredation on livestock has become a very serious issue in Kentucky. As you know, the black vulture, and turkey vulture, are protected under Federal law (The Migratory Bird Act), and international treaty (the Migratory Bird Treaty). Last year according to USDA APHIS Wildlife Services (WS), Kentucky livestock producers reported losses of 174 calves and 10 cows to black vulture depredation, up from 63 calves being reported killed the previous year. Up until now, the only legal option livestock producers had available to protect livestock from depredation was to apply for an individual black vulture depredation permit at the cost of $100, with a permit duration of one year.
Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation (KFBF) voting delegates previously approved policy concerning black vulture depredation and last year the KFBF Board of Directors made addressing the issue of black vulture depredation a National Priority Issue. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services (USFWS) and WS were at the 2014 KFBF Annual Meeting to address this serious issue, and USFWS also met with leaders during the 2015 Congressional Tour about the black vulture problem.
Kentucky's Congressional delegation has been very active in pushing Federal agencies to address black vulture depredation, and hosted several meetings in Washington to seek ways we can legally protect livestock from black vulture depredation. Considerations included Federal legislation to delist vultures, regulation that would allow limited takes and modifying the depredation permit process. KFBF has been deeply involved in the entire process, talking regularly with USFWS and WS concerning the problems Kentucky producers are facing, and pushed for a solution that would be available to producers at no cost and allow them to legally protect their livestock from this predator.
We are making progress. Last week USFWS approved a statewide depredation permit for KFBF. As far as I am aware, KFBF is the only non-government entity that has been approved by USFWS for a statewide depredation permit. The statewide permit does not provide for unlimited taking of black vultures, but affords producers experiencing depredation the opportunity to apply for a Livestock Protection Depredation Sub-Permit that allows legal "takes" of black vultures that are attacking livestock.
The statewide depredation permit is limited to 350 total "takes" and will be administered by KFBF. The maximum number of takes a producer may be approved for is five (5). There is no cost to apply for the KFBF Livestock Protection Depredation Sub-Permit, but producers who have experienced extreme depredation and have large black vulture roosts nearby are encouraged to apply for an individual black vulture depredation permit with USFWS. The cost of an individual depredation permit is $100, but producers may be approved for a larger number of "takes" by USFWS.
Producers interested in applying for the free KFBF Livestock Protection Depredation Sub-Permit may do so by completing the application form below this story and returning a signed copy to Kentucky Farm Bureau, Attn: Joe Cain, P.O. Box 20700, Louisville, Kentucky 40250-0700.
This story was posted on 2016-02-08 13:44:36
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