The recent expansion of wolf populations represents a serious challenge for managing human-carnivore conflicts. Livestock depredation is one of the most prevalent causes of antagonism [1]. Sheep is the species most preyed upon by wolves, followed by cattle and goats [2-5]. Livestock guardian dogs (LGDs) are considered one of the most powerful prevention tools against carnivore depredation on livestock [6-9]. The aim of this study was to acquire information on how LGDs are managed in sheep and goat farms, focusing on signalment, health, management, education and behaviour of dogs. Data were collected by visiting 27 farms in Tuscan Emilian Apennine area and interviewing the farmers. 91 LGDs were included, with a mean of 1 dog every 25 livestock units. The most represented breed was the Maremma Sheepdog. 59% of dogs were vaccinated, 66% wormed and 92% treated for ectoparasites. Only 12% were neutered. Most farmers fed their dogs with pet food, but in 63% of cases dogs had access to afterbirths and livestock carcasses. Coprological examinations were positive for 15 farms out of 19, with Tricocephali, Cestodes and Ascarids. 37% of farmers had no previous experience with LGDs. The undesired behaviours most frequently reported were aggressiveness to strangers, car chasing and lack of attentiveness to the flock. This survey revealed that behavioural and management problems are mostly due to negligence during the dogs’ socialization period and, more generally, to training errors. Effective promotion of prevention measures, including LGDs, needs to be adequately supported by training and assisting livestock owners in their correct use [10].

Survey on management and welfare of Livestock Guardian Dogs in twenty-seven sheep and goat farms in the Tuscan Emilian Apennine area

Mariana Roccaro
;
Giovanni Poglayen;Giovanna Martelli;Eleonora Nannoni;Angelo Peli
2018

Abstract

The recent expansion of wolf populations represents a serious challenge for managing human-carnivore conflicts. Livestock depredation is one of the most prevalent causes of antagonism [1]. Sheep is the species most preyed upon by wolves, followed by cattle and goats [2-5]. Livestock guardian dogs (LGDs) are considered one of the most powerful prevention tools against carnivore depredation on livestock [6-9]. The aim of this study was to acquire information on how LGDs are managed in sheep and goat farms, focusing on signalment, health, management, education and behaviour of dogs. Data were collected by visiting 27 farms in Tuscan Emilian Apennine area and interviewing the farmers. 91 LGDs were included, with a mean of 1 dog every 25 livestock units. The most represented breed was the Maremma Sheepdog. 59% of dogs were vaccinated, 66% wormed and 92% treated for ectoparasites. Only 12% were neutered. Most farmers fed their dogs with pet food, but in 63% of cases dogs had access to afterbirths and livestock carcasses. Coprological examinations were positive for 15 farms out of 19, with Tricocephali, Cestodes and Ascarids. 37% of farmers had no previous experience with LGDs. The undesired behaviours most frequently reported were aggressiveness to strangers, car chasing and lack of attentiveness to the flock. This survey revealed that behavioural and management problems are mostly due to negligence during the dogs’ socialization period and, more generally, to training errors. Effective promotion of prevention measures, including LGDs, needs to be adequately supported by training and assisting livestock owners in their correct use [10].
Proceedings of the First Annual Meeting of the Eurpean Congress of Behavioural Medicine and Animal Welfare (ECVBMAW)
52
54
Mariana Roccaro, Lucia Fantasia, Giovanni Poglayen, Giovanna Martelli, Eleonora Nannoni, Angelo Peli
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/645087
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