Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Livestock Guardian Dogs at Work

From left: Prof Ray Coppinger, Berenice, Christine, Prof Erich Klinghammer and Prof Gerry Fowler
During her Wolfathon in 1987, with her daughter Christine, Berenice met and travelled with Ray Coppinger. Ray and his wife, Lorna, had become well-known in the USA for introducing livestock guardian dogs.

During their four days stay they were excited to be invited to accompany Ray to farms when collecting pups or advising on problems arising with the dogs. One deer farm where a puppy was delivered had stock killed regularly for months, and despite calling in all the experts in predator control, the killing went on.

When the owner explained his problem to Ray, he said 'no problem', and loaned the farmer one of his females. The killing immediately stopped. It was Ray's opinion the killing was being done by a Coyote female with pups.

At first, they had heard a lot of barking at night, but there were no losses. So impressed were the owners they invested in a pup reared under the watchful eye of Ray and continued to keep the deer herd free from attacks by predators. Just another satisfied customer in the ever growing tide of supporters of the belief stock losses can be cut by methods of protecting stock through exclusion of predators as opposed to extermination of predators whose rights to survival had been totally ignored.

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