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Today, Tuesday 20th November 2018
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Nite Shepherd

Contact Person: James Rushmer

Location: Bethlehem, Free State

Lights that protect your livestock

PREDATORS COST FARMERS THOUSANDS OF MILLIONS

Stock farmers lose over R1.3 billion per annum due to predators.

That is the annual cost of damages caused to sheep and goats by predators in five different provinces. In addition, rising costs are weighing heavily upon farmers. Researchers from the University of the Free State (UF), are measuring the extent of the damages in order to help farmers make better management decisions.

The research included a survey done over a period of two years among 1500 farmers. Farmers from the Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Western Cape, Mpumalanga and the Free State were included. The emphasis was on red jackals and caracals. In August 2012 there were approximately 24 million sheep and six million goats countrywide.

The Northern Cape was the most affected, with losses of R540 million. The Eastern Cape’s losses amounted to R412 million and in the Free State they were R247 million. The Western Cape’s losses was R104 million and Mpumalanga R84 million.

The market price for a sheep or goat older than six months was commonly determined at R1000, while the market price of animals younger than six months was R600. The same values were used to calculate losses suffered by farmers due to stock theft.

What is the solution?

Reduce small stock loss immediately.

Johan van Vuuren of the farm Bosrivier in the Adelaide district devised a plan that involves attaching lights to sheep’s heads in order to scare off jackals.

By attaching the flashing, solar energy-generated lights onto the heads of three sheep in a flock of a 100, he hasn’t lost a single lamb to jackals or caracals in the past year.

'I don’t know what all the reasons are, but there has been an increase of predators in our region over the past decade.’ Van Vuuren said.

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Livestock Protection

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