Game Laws update: Coyote Control Program

Coyotes are on the prowl across Virginia. This worries Virginia livestock farmers. Virginia livestock farmers saw a 32 percent increase in the reported sheep predation by coyotes and a 69 percent increase in calf predation by coyotes from FY2010 compared to FY2011.

This is why Virginia Farm Bureau is working hard to keep the program at least minimally funded during these tight budget times. Virginia Farm Bureau hopes that during better economic times that a case can be made to fully fund the state’s portion of this program at $250,000.

The Virginia Cooperative Coyote Damage Control Program has been in place since 1991. This is a state and federal program serves Virginia livestock producers suffering coyote predation on livestock by providing technical assistance, direct control, and education.

Delegate Poindexter and Senator Ruff are carrying budget amendments to restore $40,000 to bring the program back to the bare minimum of $120,000 needed for a state and federal program to continue to operate.

While the coyote harvest has increased from 1,295 in the 1993-94 hunting season to 24,449 in the 2008-2009 hunting season, this hasn’t seemed to slow down the explosion in population of coyotes. More and more farmers are reporting livestock predation on farms that historically never had coyote predation problems.

A cost-benefit analysis on sheep alone determined that $7.78 was saved for every dollar spent on the coyote damage control program. This means real money and profits to Virginia livestock farmers.

We would like to know more about the problems that Virginia livestock farmers are facing from this predator. Please click Post a Comment below and tell us about how coyotes have hurt your livestock production.

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