Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Predators account for small amount of livestock losses

Cattle and calf losses from animal predators and non-predator causes in the United States totaled 4.05 million head (excluding Alaska). This report provides detailed breakouts of cattle and calf losses by predators and non-predator causes, as well as data on non-lethal predator control measures.

Cattle and calf losses from animal predators totaled 190,000 head. This represented 4.7 percent of the total losses from all causes and resulted in a loss of $92.7 million to farmers and ranchers. Coyotes and dogs caused the majority of cattle and calf losses accounting for 51.1 percent and 11.5 percent respectively.

Cattle and calf losses from non-predator causes totaled 3.86 million head or 95.3 percent of the total losses. Respiratory problems was the leading cause of non-predator deaths accounting for 28.7 percent, followed by digestive problems at 16.8 percent.

Farmers and ranchers throughout the United States spent 199.1 million dollars on non-lethal methods to control predators. Use of guard animals was the most common method at 38.0 percent. Exclusion fencing, frequent checking, and culling were the next most commonly used methods of preventing cattle and calf losses at 34.0 percent, 21.8 percent, and 19.6 percent respectively.

This report is released as a cooperative effort between the National Agricultural Statistics Service and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service - Wildlife Services and Veterinary Services.

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