Something is rotten in the southwest states… And it smells like cow.
What’s wrong with this story?
A cow lives on a ranch in the southwest. A cow dies. Remaining on the landscape, the dead cow draws in predators (like wolves) looking for an easy meal. Scavenging is known to habituate wolves to prey on livestock. Ranchers are reimbursed for their losses and wolves get punished. Sound fair?
Here’s the problem…
There’s an imbalance. While livestock owners are compensated for livestock lost to wolves, and offered financial and logistical assistance with depredation avoidance measures, there is NO corresponding requirement for livestock owners to remove livestock carcasses on public lands (or take measures to protect their cattle from depredations in the first place).
When gray wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone and the northern Rocky Mountains, there was a rule stipulating that stock owners must not leave carcasses accessible to wolves.
So where’s the rule mandating livestock growers to practice basic animal husbandry (remove dead cows) within the recovery area of a wolf subspecies on the brink of extinction?
Something is rotten in the southwest states…. And it smells like cow.