Predator Removal Program to Reduce Livestock Losses

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Manitoba has finalized an agreement with the Manitoba Trappers Association to implement a problem predator program to reduce livestock losses, Conservation Minister Stan Struthers announced today.

"Manitoba producers have advised the province of recent livestock losses from predator activity which threatens serious financial damage to their operations," said Struthers.

The $40,000 predator management initiative was developed in response to reports from the Manitoba Cattle Producers and other livestock producers about losses of cattle and sheep, primarily to coyotes. Areas seeing the highest incidents of predator activity to date are the Virden, Beausejour, Interlake, Swan River, Birch River, Ethelbert and southeastern areas of Manitoba.

"With the assistance of the trappers association, we hope to significantly reduce this problem by removing only those predators causing problems in the identified areas," said Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Minister Rosann Wowchuk, speaking at Rural Forum here today on behalf of Struthers.

From April 1, 2005, to February 28, 2006, the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation processed over 1,075 claims and paid $318,721 in damage claims for losses of cattle, calves, sheep and lambs.

As part of the agreement, the association will provide workshops in chronic problem areas for local trappers and producers on humane methods to remove problem predators such as wolves and coyotes.

Producers experiencing predator losses must report the incidents to the nearest Manitoba Agricultural Services office. A claim number will be assigned, allowing the producer to contact the Manitoba Trappers Association to have a qualified trapper assigned. Only humane trapping methods will be permitted and only predators causing the problem will be removed. Landowners will also be required to sign a landowner agreement and liability release form before trappers will enter onto the property to remove offending predators.