Livestock producers throughout the country, including those in Alabama, are encountering a problem that has begun to effect their businesses’ total income.
Black vultures have increasingly become predators of newly born calves throughout the state.
In order to address the issue, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has given a permit to the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries which will allow livestock producers in the Yellowhammer State to kill up to 500 of the birds this year.
Each producer can kill up to three and must use a shotgun.
“Black vultures have been giving cattlemen problems for quite some time, particularly in north Alabama,” Erin Beasley, executive vice president of the Alabama Cattleman’s Association, told AL.com. “However, they are migrating further south. There are a lot of them because they are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. They are a predator to livestock in that they attack calves when they are born.”
Approved applicants must report each take within 48 hours. If 500 vultures are killed in the state, an email will be sent notifying applicants that no more vultures may be taken during the permit period. Approved applicants are not allowed to kill any other migratory bird species.
Even if an approved applicant does not take any birds, they must login to their account and report “no birds taken” no later than December 31st.
Any livestock producer experiencing severe depredation from black vultures is encouraged to apply for an individual migratory bird depredation permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and/or work with USDA APHIS Wildlife Services (WS).
Alabama’s WS office may be reached at 334-844-5670 or toll free at 1-866-4USDA-WS.
Austen Shipley is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News.