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ANIMAL WELFARE IN EXTENSIVE PRODUCTION SYSTEMS
What are they complaining about???
by: John Laundre
Harsh weather is a key killer of Cattle
Clostridial Disease is a significant killer of Cattle
Are predators really that much of a threat to our livestock, in this case those grown out on the landscape or "extensive" production systems. This is opposed to "intensive" ones where livestock are grown under more controlled, e.g. penned conditions. Not surprisingly, most of these animals grown in extensive systems are primarily in the 11 most western states of our country.
Wolves are an infrequent killer of Cattle
Economically, predation losses represented only 0.3% of the total value of all cattle grown in extensive systems. Again, non-predatory losses were at 6.3% (21 times higher!). Ranchers are losing more cattle and money from a variety of PREVENTABLE causes than from predators! These causes range from accidents to cattle rustling!
Coyotes are a minor killer of Cattle
I also look at predation on a global scale and again, the U.S. is not unique; predation losses worldwide are just not that high. Not high enough for sure to justify the mass elimination of predators from the landscape.
Great Pyrenees guard dog of cattle