Loss of Values
Last week in this column I wrote about the animal welfare issue and how, as livestock managers, we deal with it. As a state with numerous types of livestock we need to stay in tune with the national views.
Last week I stated the Wyoming Livestock Board need only deal with livestock, not pets. That statement brought up questions in my mind that I don’t have the answers to. Is a pet only a dog, a cat, a bird or some similar animal? Is a horse that is living in a 20-foot by 20-foot pen considered livestock or is it a pet? Can a youngster have a pet lamb or calf, maybe with no idea how to care for it, and still call it livestock? Does an older horse that is a pet, but gets old and is turned out on someone else’s land, livestock?
“Where do you draw the line?” seems to be the toughest question to answer. Is one poke with a hotshot at a rodeo called abuse? What about bird dog trainers who use shock collars to train their dogs? I just can’t get it straight in my mind what the public wants. I do know that when I see livestock abuse I recognize it. I also recognize proper management necessary when handling livestock. As they say, we have a moving target here.
I realize that most all animals are good, but why do some humans care more about animal welfare than the child abuse we have in this country? I’ve read where there are around three million abused or neglected children in America. I find that statistic appalling. Why not an uproar over that issue? They’re both important.
Where we get into trouble is when some people view livestock management as they would a Disney movie. It just doesn’t work that way, does it? So, it is up to us to educate the public or try to. The best start is to be aware that there are some people around who don’t understand proper livestock management. They need to hear our story.
Don’t forget that if you as a landowner have planned, completed or are working on any projects that would enhance or compliment sage grouse habitat or the bird itself please send the material to Todd Heward, Medicine Bow Conservation District, P.O. Box 6, Medicine Bow, WY 82324. Todd is gathering material for the Fish and Wildlife Service to support Wyoming in the sage grouse status review. He said to block out all names, legal land descriptions and other descriptions. They just want the number and description of projects. We have all been involved in some projects that have helped the habitat and sage grouse directly or indirectly. Now we need the projects to help keep the sage grouse from being listed.
Also, please don’t forget to nominate someone you feel is worthy for the Wyoming Agriculture Hall of Fame. Honorees will be recognized at the picnic we host in partnership with EnCana and Farm Credit Services of America at State Fair. You can find a nomination form on the Roundup website or give us a call.