New bill to shield cattle from Black Vulture predation

Dec 01, 2023

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) recently celebrated the introduction of the Black Vulture Relief Act in the Senate. This bill, championed by Senator Markwayne Mullin, is designed to support cattle producers facing significant challenges due to black vulture depredation. It complements similar legislation previously introduced in the House of Representatives. 

NCBA Policy Division Chair Gene Copenhaver highlighted the severe financial impact of black vulture attacks on small, family-run cattle farms. He criticized the inadequacy of the current protection system, noting the abundance of black vultures and questioning their need for federal protection. 

The issue gained attention earlier in the year when a Missouri cattle producer, also an NCBA member, testified before the House Natural Resources Water, Wildlife, and Fisheries Subcommittee about personal losses due to black vulture attacks.  

Charlie Besher, Chairman of NCBA’s Property Rights and Environmental Management Committee, called for more sensible management of the species, considering their continental abundance and negligible conservation status. 

The proposed legislation would permit cattle producers to act against black vultures without a permit in situations where livestock is at immediate risk. The current permit system, overseen by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, allows for the taking of only three birds per year, proving insufficient against flock attacks. 

Supporting the bill, Michael Kelsey from the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association pointed out the outdated nature of current regulations and the need for updates to protect livestock effectively. 

The Black Vulture Relief Act, enjoying bipartisan support and backed by various NCBA state affiliates, represents a significant advancement in aligning cattle industry needs with wildlife management. 

Source : wisconsinagconnection