Reduction in livestock losses following placement of livestock guarding dogs and the impact of herd species and dog sex

Article English OPEN
Leijenaar, S-L ; Cilliers, D ; Whitehouse-Tedd, K (2015)
  • Publisher: Online Research Journals
  • Subject:
    mesheuropmc: parasitic diseases | animal diseases

Livestock guarding dogs have been placed on South African farms by the not-for-profit organisation, Cheetah Outreach Trust, since 2005, and have been proven to be an efficient form of non-lethal predator control against jackal, caracal, leopards, cheetahs and other predators found in South Africa. However, the impact that herd species (sheep, goat, cattle or mixed) or the sex of the dog may have on the observed reduction in livestock losses following placement of a livestock guarding dogs has not been investigated. To address this, the reduction in livestock losses following placement of an Anatolian livestock guarding dogs was measured in two South African provinces over a nine year period and data simultaneously collected on herd type and dog sex. Dogs comprised of 78 males and 49 females. Farms consisted of 68 sheep, 37 goats, 23 cattle, and two exotic game farms. Effectiveness was measured as the difference between farmer-reported livestock losses before and after the placement of a dog and was calculated as percentage change in stock loss after introduction of a livestock guarding dog according herd species and dog sex. This study determined the impact of herd type or dog sex on the difference between livestock loss before versus after livestock guarding dog s placement. This study indicates that the use of this breed of livestock guarding dog is an effective means of reducing perceived livestock losses due to predation, regardless of dog sex, and may be used with equal effectiveness with a range of herd species.
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