In recent years, the black vulture population has increased in Indiana, particularly in the southern portion of the state. These birds often prey on young livestock, causing injury and sometimes death, creating major financial losses for some livestock producers.
Greg Slipher, Livestock Development Specialist for Indiana Farm Bureau, says if you’re experiencing issues with black vultures, they can help.
“Indiana Farm Bureau has authority from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to issue sub-permits to our members to take, the technical term is take, but kill black vultures. We have the capacity to issue up to 3 takes per permit, and that’s currently what we’ve done to our 54 permits that we have issued so far here in Indiana starting at the beginning of the fall calving season.”
Based on attendance at a recent seminar at the Indiana Farm Bureau annual convention, Slipher expects that number to rise ahead of the spring calving season.
Slipher says they encourage non-lethal actions against black vultures first.
“Let’s remember, these are a protected species, so we take the lethal action as the last piece, but certainly harassment, hanging effigies of permitted taken birds, and such, but mostly, at the end of the day, I’m not naïve, the most effective way to discourage black vultures from being in the neighborhood of your beef or cattle herd or livestock herd is through lethal takes, or killing the birds.”
Slipher adds that getting this project started after 4 or 5 years of work on it is one of the highlights of his career that will be ending with Indiana Farm Bureau at the end of the year. Slipher says he’s been blessed with his time working for Hoosier farmers. INFB President Randy Kron applauded his service.
“It’s bittersweet. I’m happy for Greg to retire and enjoy life, but it’s a big loss here for Indiana Farm Bureau and Indiana agriculture. He’s worked on the ‘Before you Build’ program quite extensively over the last years and just been a valued resource to Farm Bureau and the livestock sector. So, I want to wish him well, but we’re sure going to miss him.”
For more details on the program and to apply for a sub-permit, visit www.infb.org/blackvultures.