Cattle producers want fewer regulations to control predatory black vultures

Cattle producers want less burdensome regulations when managing one of the industry’s biggest predators. Black vultures, a protected bird under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, continue to threaten the livelihood of producers by preying on cattle during calving season.

Southeast Missouri cow-calf operator Charlie Besher says a bipartisan bill, introduced earlier this year, would allow producers to cull black vultures that pose a threat to livestock. “If you see an animal out there being harassed or taken by the black vultures, you can immediately take those animals,” he says.  “Before — you’d be there and have to think ‘Is my permit up to date or is it not?’.  You have to worry about if you’d be levied with a fine or jail time.  Who knows where it could end if you’re taking a protected animal.”

AUDIO: Charlie Beshers, Missouri cattle producer

Sigrid Johannes, NCBA Director of Government Affairs tells Brownfield the proposed legislation would reduce the permitting requirements and streamline the reporting process.  “But, it remains the reporting requirement that producers report all that take on the back end,” she says.  “It allows wildlife officials to still monitor the species, making sure we’re not taking too many.  Making sure it is still healthy.”

Besher will testify on the bill in a House subcommittee hearing on Thursday.

AUDIO: Sigrid Johannes, NCBA

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