Washington Approves Lethal Action on Two Wolf Packs for Cattle Attacks – Drovers Magazine

Wildlife officials have approved the lethal removal of wolves from two packs in Washington that are responsible for multiple attacks on cattle.

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Director Kelly Susewind made the authorization on Nov. 7 to approve lethal action against the Smackout Pack in Stevens County and the Togo Pack in Ferry County.

The Smackout Pack has preyed on five cattle since Aug. 20, with four heifers being killed and a calf being injured during attacks on private pasture. The attacks prompted Susewind to authorize the removal of one or two members of the pack. There are four or five adult wolves and no known pups in the pack.

Donny Martorello, WDFW wolf policy lead, says the latest attack in late October helped meet the threshold for considering lethal action under WDFW’s wolf-livestock interaction protocol.

Lethal removal policy for WDFW allows wolves to be killed if they prey on livestock three times in a 30 day period or four times in a 10 month period. The latest attacks would mean the Smackout Pack eclipsed the 10 month threshold established by WDFW and its 18-member Wolf Advisory Group in 2016.

“The purpose of this action is to change the pack’s behavior and deter continuing predation on livestock,” Martorello says. “That strategy is consistent with the guidelines established by the state’s Wolf Conservation and Management Plan and the department’s protocol.”

Additional lethal removal has been authorized for the remaining members of the Togo Pack. Earlier this grazing season a male wolf was killed in northern Ferry County after the Togo pack had preyed on livestock six times since November, with three cases happening during a 10 period in August. The Togo pack removal saw backlash from activists groups who sued to stop the kill order. During the waiting period for a court hearing a rancher shot at the male wolf in self-defense, resulting in an injury to the wolf before a final kill order was approved.

It was confirmed on Nov. 1 by WDFW staff that another calf was injured by the Togo Pack after being attacked on private land by the pack. Currently, the pack consists of one female adult wolf and two pups.

Since the affected cattle are grazing private land, a permit was issued to the rancher to kill the wolves. It would allow the rancher, his immediate family or his employees to kill wolves if they enter the private fenced pasture where the livestock are located.

To help limit wolf interactions with cattle there have been a number non-lethal measures utilized by the ranchers impacted by the attacks of both packs. These methods include using ranger riders as deterrents.

“Authorizing the removal of wolves is one of the most difficult decisions I’ve had to make in my professional career,” Susewind says. “Our department is committed to working with a diversity of people and interests to find new ways to reduce the loss of both wolves and livestock in our state.”

These wolf removal announcements follow a similar approval for lethal action on the Old Profanity Territory Pack at the end of last month. That pack has attacked 16 cattle this year and already had two wolves killed. 

Since the start of the year, the Washing was home to at least 122 wolves, 22 packs, and 14 successful breeding pairs, according to an annual field study conducted by state, tribal, and federal wildlife managers. That compares to 27 wolves, five packs, and three successful breeding pairs documented in 2012.

For more information about the livestock depredation cases involving wolf packs in Washington read the following stories:

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Taking a Look at Fall Cattle and Beef Markets – Drovers Magazine

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Drovers Magazine

Taking a Look at Fall Cattle and Beef Markets
Drovers Magazine
Unusual weather in Oklahoma this fall has created many challenges for cattle and crop producers but there has been one positive outcome: brilliant fall colors. The exceptional red and yellow leaves this fall are the most impressive I have seen in a

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Genes that could lead to improvement of beef cattle are identified – Phys.Org

Researchers identify 35 genes associated with reproduction, milk composition, growth, meat and carcass, health or body conformation traits in Gir cattle (specimens from herds with selected traits for beef and milk production). Credit: Anibal Eugenio Vercesi Filho and Sertãozinho Animal Science Institute)

Beef cattle improvement programs have focused for decades on promoting the rapid growth of calves. Now, the goal is to improve other traits, such as meat tenderness or ribeye muscle area.

Researchers at São Paulo State University (UNESP) in Brazil who are studying the genome of the Gir breed of Zebu cattle have identified 35 genes associated with reproduction, milk composition, growth, meat and carcass, health or body conformation traits. This identification is a key step toward the development of novel lines with traits desired by producers and consumers.

The results of the study have recently been published in the journal PLOS ONE by the group, which is led by Josineudson Augusto II de Vasconcelos Silva, a professor at the university’s Botucatu School of Agrarian & Veterinary Sciences (FCAV-UNESP). The research was supported by São Paulo Research Foundation—FAPESP. Researchers affiliated with the University of Georgia in the United States and with Brazilian animal science institutes located in Nova Odessa and Sertãozinho, both in São Paulo State, also took part.

The Gir breed is of Indian origin and has been successfully introduced into the tropics. It is one of the main cattle breeds farmed in South American tropical countries, especially Brazil. However, the various populations have pronounced differences. Strong artificial selection in recent decades has increased the genetic differentiation among herds in countries of the region.

Gir cattle are mainly farmed for milk in Brazil today, although they were once an option for meat producers, who now prefer Nelore cattle.

To locate the genes associated with beef and dairy production in Gir cattle, the researchers analyzed the genotypes of animals from different populations, including a herd raised between 1976 and 2003 at the Sertãozinho Animal Science Institute.

During this period, the institute’s scientists selected animals from the herd to develop traits associated with meat production, such as rapid yearling growth. As a result, calves born to cows in this herd became steadily larger. In 2003, however, the herd was sold in response to a change in preference among farmers, who opted to raise Gir for dairy rather than beef.

At that time, Brazil launched its Dairy Gir Genetic Improvement Program (local acronym PNMGL). Selection for traits associated with milk production led over the years to cows with steadily larger udders that produced increasing amounts of milk.

The genotyping exercise used hair samples collected in 2003 from 173 bulls, cows and yearlings belonging to the herd selected for beef production and from 273 animals belonging to the PNMGL herd, which was selected for dairy production and raised on five farms in Minas Gerais and São Paulo State.

The researchers also recorded key lifecycle data, such as birth weight, preweaning and postweaning weight, and slaughter weight.

“We selected a Gir group for beef and another for dairy. The difference in morphology was significant. The animals selected for beef had more muscle mass and were stronger, while cows selected for dairy had very large udders,” Vasconcelos Silva said.

“The results obtained are clear and consistent with the history of both populations. Because they were involved in different breeding programs, there was intentional segregation of their genes, leading to complete isolation and this significant genetic variation.”

The genomes of the 173 animals selected for beef production were compared with the genomes of the 273 animals selected for dairy production with the aim of detecting the regions in which the respective genes were located.

“We found that 282 genes in the regions concerned could be considered signatures of selection in Gir beef and dairy herds. Of these, 35 were found to be associated with reproduction, milk composition, growth, meat and carcass, health or body conformation traits,” Vasconcelos Silva said.

Larger herds

The investigation funded by FAPESP showed that traits associated with fertility, milk production, beef quality, and growth were involved in the process of differentiation between the two populations, one selected for meat production and the other for milk production. Some of these 35 genes were already known to science. The rest are new discoveries.

The next steps will involve larger herds. The group will genotype at least 2,000 animals to understand how the previously known genes are expressed and more precisely how they are associated with the traits investigated.

“We may perhaps discover that some genes are more abundantly expressed in Gir than Nelore, for example,” Vasconcelos Silva said.

Another possibility will be a comparison of Gir genes with those of a European breed such as Angus, which is preferred by Brazilian steakhouses.

Explore further:
Study finds new genomic regions associated with weight gain in Nelore cattle

More information:
Amanda Marchi Maiorano et al, Assessing genetic architecture and signatures of selection of dual purpose Gir cattle populations using genomic information, PLOS ONE (2018). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0200694

Journal reference:

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There's a hierarchy in the cattle world – Concord Monitor

‘Which one is the dominant animal?” my husband, Bruce, asked over the phone. Without hesitation, I said, Topper. 

We had pastured a small herd of our Scottish Highlander cattle in Canterbury, the next town over from ours, and all of them had escaped through an open gate. Since I was at the Nashua Farmers Market, Bruce had to get them back.

We had put nine Highlanders into the pasture a week earlier. There were two pairs of working oxen, a 4-H heifer and four halter-trained steers in the group. All were friendly and easy to handle, but it was still a herd with traditional herd dynamics. Every herd has a leader and a pecking order. Understanding the herd hierarchy is critical in cattle management.

In this case, for instance, the herd leader, Topper, respects and trusts me. He is one of a pair of oxen I’ve trained to work in a yoke. As his superior; I have control of him, and since I have control of him, I control the herd. The second in command is Stash, who is Topper’s teammate and the rest rank below these two.

Even though Topper would never push me around, he would push JoJo, a smaller steer. Even so, if I’m hanging out with JoJo and Topper attacks him, JoJo could trample me trying to escape. So when I walk among cattle, I’m always watching the dominant animals.

Cattle ranking lower on the hierarchy have to wait while the top cattle munch on the hay I deliver daily at our home pasture. When the dominant cows are done eating they will move off so those lower in the pecking-order can eat. My job is to make sure there is enough hay for everyone.

A dominant animal won’t stay on top forever. Rosie, a 15-year-old cow, lost her status when she contracted arthritis, which slowed her down. When a top bovine hits the skids, there is no residual respect. A new leader takes over, and there’s no such thing as bovine emeritus. I eventually had to feed Rosie separately so she wouldn’t starve.

While bovine hierarchy can seem weird and silly, we need to realize it’s not so different from human behavior. We have leaders and followers, which can work well. We have bullies and victims, which does not work well. The difference is that we humans can apply some intelligence and humanity to rein in our instinctive behavior.

When Bruce got to the Canterbury field, he saw Topper run up the roadway and into the field with the rest of the herd straggling behind. The land-owner, Ty, had enticed the herd with a pan of chicken feed and managed to get a rope around Topper’s neck. At that point, Topper decided it was time to end his walkabout without a struggle. In fact, he ran ahead of Ty, returning to the confines of his 20-acre pasture-taking his followers with him.

After the herd voluntarily returned to the field, I got a call from the Canterbury Police. Someone had called them about our wandering cattle, and he wanted to have our contact information on file in case they ever got loose again. A respecter of authority, I complied with the request, and if I’m ever summoned to round up any escapees, I’ll get right on it. I only hope that Topper doesn’t find out there’s someone higher up the totem pole than his own boss. It could topple my empire!

(Carole Soule is co-owner of Miles Smith Farm in Loudon, where she raises and sells beef, pork, lamb, eggs and other local products. She can be reached at cas@milessmithfarm.com.)

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Fed Cattle Steady, Feeders Steady To $3 Lower – Drovers Magazine

Cash fed cattle prices were reported at mostly $111, which is steady with last week. Dressed prices were at $173 to $174. An increase in dressed sales was reported in the south at $178.50, which is $4.50 higher than last week.

Steer and heifer calves sold at auction steady to $5 per cwt. lower, reports the Agricultural Marketing Service. Yearling steers and heifers were called steady to $3 lower.

“Receipts were much larger than last week as road conditions improved dramatically in certain areas as dryer and warmer weather permeated across the Plains,” AMS reported. “In the Northern Plains, calf runs are just getting started and high quality weaned calves are in demand. The demand for unweaned calves this week was moderate while demand for preconditioned and weaned calves was moderate to good.”

Friday’s cattle on feed report revealed another record inventory with 11.4 million head, the highest October inventory since the data series began in 1996. The total was 5.2% higher than last year. Placements in September were down 99,000 head, or 4.6% from last year. Marketings were pegged at 1.72 million head, down 3.72% from last year.

Boxed beef cutout values were significantly higher on good demand. The Choice cutout closed Friday at $207.93, up $5.22 per cwt. for the week. Select closed at $194.22, up $1.94 from the previous Friday. The Choice/Select spread was $13.69.

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Dozens of cattle roaming Georgia roadway cause backups, injuries – WISN Milwaukee

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WISN Milwaukee

Dozens of cattle roaming Georgia roadway cause backups, injuries
WISN Milwaukee
Atlanta, Georgia, is known for its traffic problems but early Monday morning there were backups on one major interstate for an unusual reason. Dozens of cattle were roaming the roadway after a tractor trailer overturned. Ten of the animals died as a
Dozens of cattle roaming Georgia roadway cause backups, injuriesWTAE Pittsburgh

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Kentucky company charged with illegally moving cattle – Sacramento Bee

Federal officials say a Kentucky company has been charged with moving cattle out of state without proper veterinarian inspection.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that Eugene Barber & Sons Inc. has been indicted on charges of illegally moving cattle, aiding and abetting a false statement and conspiracy.

Federal prosecutors say veterinarian John M. Moran also has been indicted in the case.

Court records show Moran is accused of pre-signing paperwork certifying that cattle sold by Barber & Sons were safe without inspecting them.

Prosecutors allege Moran falsified 600 certifications for shipment of more than 60,000 cattle over state lines between 2013 and 2015.

The indictment says Moran received more than $19,000.

Court records don’t show if the Lexington-based company or Moran have lawyers to represent them in the case.

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Flipped trailer traps more than 100 head of cattle on I-30 ramp in … – Dallas News (blog)

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Dallas News (blog)

Flipped trailer traps more than 100 head of cattle on I-30 ramp in …
Dallas News (blog)
An 18-wheeler carrying 135 head of cattle trapped them inside when it overturned early Monday morning.The trailer flipped shortly after midnight,…
Tractor-Trailer Carrying Cattle Overturns In Mesquite « CBS Dallas …CBS Dallas / Fort Worth
Cattle truck overturns at I-30 and 635 in Mesquite, trapping cows …WFAA.com
More Than 100 Head of Cattle Trapped in Flipped Trailer – NBC 5 …NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
FOX 4 News -CBS Baltimore
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