Friday, February 12, 2010

ASI Proposal On Managing Livestock Protection Dogs

The American Sheep Industry Association has a working group on Livestock Protection Dogs, and they have written a draft management program for using dogs on federal grazing allocations. They are asking for input from sheep farmers:

(1) whether you agree that the program is needed;
(2) if the guidance is do-able on your operation; and
(3) what parts of the draft would helpful to you.

I think they could also use input from everyone using livestock guarding/protection dogs. The certification they are proposing covers both herding and guarding dogs, and includes farm flock owners as well as range sheep operations. This may help protect our right and ability to use working dogs.

From the draft:

ASI strongly believes that the use of LPDs on federal grazing allotments is in serious jeopardy, and anticipates three possible outcomes: 1) Federal agencies develop their own mandatory regulations for the use of LPDs on grazing allotments; 2) Federal agencies completely eliminate the use of LPDs on grazing allotments; or 3) ASI takes a proactive management position and adopts a stringent LPD certification program that sets high industry standards for the use of LPDs with the intent to effectively manage and maintain the use of LPDs on federal grazing allotments.

Farm flock owners are also subject to potential restrictions on use of LPDs because of occasional conflicts with neighbors.

The purpose of the ASI Certification Program is to encourage sheep producers using livestock protection dogs and herding dogs to adhere to best management practices (BMPs) that optimize the use of these dogs while minimizing potential conflicts with neighbors and recreational users of federal lands. Throughout the certification program, the term livestock protection dog (LPD) is used and is meant to include herding dogs as well. LPD owners must complete the certification program annually to maintain a current certified status. LPD owners must also be a member of their ASI-affiliated state sheep association (if applicable) in order to participate in the certification program.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a great resource!