Legislation To Protect Calves And Lambs From Vultures
The U.S. House of Representatives passed America’s Conservation Enhancement (ACE) Act on Thursday by a voice vote, effectively sending another piece of bipartisan conservation legislation to President Donald Trump’s desk to be signed.
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and the Public Lands Council (PLC) said the bipartisan legislation will protect livestock from predation, compensate livestock producers who experience depredation by federally protected species, and fund methods to reduce conflicts between humans and predators.
Introduced by Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Ranking Member Tom Carper (D-Del.), the ACE Act contains a number of provisions designed to address impacts that wildlife and wildlife management can have on livestock production.
One such provision provides depredation payments for livestock producers who experience livestock losses caused by federally protected species, while also authorizing funding for producers to carry out non-lethal deterrence activities. These are both activities previously funded primarily by affected States, despite the federal protections for animals causing the predation. PLC and NCBA have worked with Congress and federal agencies to provide relief to States and producers through improvements to federal regulations and through compensation programs, and the ACE Act provides relief in both ways.
"Livestock producers and States face significant burdens when the federal government implements protections for species without any support for the economic and natural resource impacts their decisions can have," said PLC Executive Director and NCBA Executive Director of Natural Resources, Kaitlynn Glover. "This is something PLC and NCBA have urged Congress to recognize for years, so this relief comes at a time when producers are contending with losses from multiple events,”
“We also applaud the establishment of a specific depredation permitting structure for producers who have experienced losses due to common raven and black vulture depredation. Most of these losses occur during calving and lambing season, with producers experiencing tens of thousands of dollars in losses in any given year. It is imperative that producers have common-sense tools to protect their livestock, their financial security, and local wildlife populations."
The ACE Act also includes funding to improve invasive species control and prevention efforts, a provision designed to develop innovative ways to reduce human-predator conflict, and establishes of a task force to address prevailing concerns about Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) that occurs in cervids like deer, moose, and elk. The bill now awaits signature by President Trump.
View text of the bill here.