Evidence supporting that human-subsidized free-ranging dogs are the main cause of animal losses in small-scale farms in Chile
- 366 Downloads
We surveyed professionals from the Chilean Ministry of Agriculture working with small-scale farmers to characterize the attacks of free-ranging dogs across Chile. Nationwide, in a single year, free-ranging dogs attacked 25% of the ca. 8500 farms included in the survey, killing or injuring about 10 000 small ruminants. These dogs were ranked as the main cause of animal losses for small-scale farmers, representing a threat to the livelihoods of this vulnerable group. Further, free-ranging dogs attacking small ruminants were considered as human-subsidized, since they would be recruited by irresponsible ownership and abandonment from urban centers. This is the first national assessment reporting that human-subsidized dogs are a main threat to livestock rearing. Policies to control populations of these animals should target their anthropogenic origin as well as cultural shifts in dog ownership and animal welfare. While these policies may be effective mid- to long-term approaches, short-term actions may also be needed.
KeywordsAttacks Chile Dogs Farms Livestock Predation
We are thankful to all PRODESAL and PDTI professionals that work on a daily basis to make Chile a better country. We appreciate the support of Dr. Javier Fernández and Dr. Juan Jiménez from the Ministerio de Agricultura de Chile. We thank Dr. Héctor Pavez for providing us his experience, which improved the survey, and the help of Dr. Joseph Gaydos and Dr. Emily Pascoe. We also wish to thank Joe Roy-Mayhew, and Jay McNair for their feedback and edits on earlier drafts of this article. Finally, we thank two anonymous reviewers whose comments improved this manuscript.
- Acosta-Jamett, G., P. Corti, A. Aleuy, A. Espinoza, and P. Quevedo. 2014. Study of perception of farming-predator conflicts Arica y Parinacota, Coquimbo, Araucanía and Aysén Districts, 26–27. Valdivia: Univ. Austral Chile.Google Scholar
- Beck, A.M. 1973. The ecology of stray dogs: A study of free-ranging Urban animals. Baltimore: York Press.Google Scholar
- Boitani, L., F. Francisci, P. Ciucci, and G. Andreoli. 2016. The ecology and behavior of feral dogs: A case study from central Italy. In The domestic dog: Its evolution, behaviour, and interactions with people, ed. J. Serpell, 342–368. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Bonacic, C., T. Ibarra, M.F. Amar, D. Sanhueza, N. Guarda, N. Gálvez, and T. Murphy. 2007. Assessment of the conflict between wild carnivores and livestock. 612-461-LE07. Laboratorio de Vida Silvestre Fauna Australis Facultad de Agronomía e Ingeniería Forestal Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. Santiago (In Spanish).Google Scholar
- Boza, S., M. Cortés, and F. Guzmán. 2015. Characterization of small-scale agriculture producers benefited by the Programa of Local Development in the Metropolitan District, Chile. IDESIA 33: 135–142 (In Spanish. Summary in English).Google Scholar
- Cattan, P., G. Acosta-Jamett, G. Cundill, P. Correa, G. Cortes, and G. Rojo. 2010. Assessment of the interaction between puma (Puma concolor) and livestock in Choapa Province, Coquimbo District. 612-370-LE09. Centro de Estudios de Vida Silvestre Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias y Pecuarias Universidad de Chile. Santiago (In Spanish).Google Scholar
- Donoso, G., O. Melo, and E. Negrete. 2010. Participation determinants and impact assessment of the Institute of Agricultural Development (INDAP) credit program. Ciencia e Investigación Agraria 37: 87–99.Google Scholar
- Flores, J. 2017. Pack of wild dogs costs millions in lost after attacking sheep in Porvenir. Radio Biobío. Retrieved 20 March 2017 from https://www.biobiochile.cl/noticias/nacional/region-demagallanes/2017/03/20/jauria-deperros-silvestres-deja-millonariasperdidas-tras-atacar-ovejas-enporvenir.shtml. (In Spanish).
- Gompper, M.E. 2014. Introduction: Outlining the ecological influences of a subsidized, domesticated predator. In Free-ranging Dogs and Wildlife Conservation, ed. M.E. Gompper, 1–7. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Instituto de Desarrollo Agropecuario. 2017. State of the Institution 2016 (In Spanish).Google Scholar
- Instituto de Desarrollo Agropecuario. 2018. The improvement process of the indigenous territorial development program. Jofré Godoy, M.; Huenchumil (In Spanish).Google Scholar
- Instituto Nacional de Estadísticas. 2015. Survey of sheep flocks. Estadísticas Pecuarias/Ganadería Ovina (In Spanish).Google Scholar
- Krippendorff, K. 2013. Content analysis: An introduction to its methodology. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
- Ministerio de Agricultura. 1990. Replaces the act of the Instituto de Desarrollo Agropecuario. Biblioteca del Congreso Nacional de Chile. February 3 (In Spanish).Google Scholar
- Ministerio de Agricultura. 1993. Amendment to the Act of the Instituto de Desarrollo Agropecuario. Biblioteca del Congreso Nacional de Chile. Mayo 5 (In Spanish).Google Scholar
- Ministerio de Agricultura. 2015. Modification of hunting law enforcement, approved by Decree No 5, 1998. Biblioteca del Congreso Nacional de Chile. January 31 (In Spanish).Google Scholar
- Ministerio de Salud. 2017. Law number 21020 about responsible pet and company animals’ ownership. Biblioteca del Congreso Nacional de Chile. August 2 (In Spanish).Google Scholar
- Pisano, E. 1966. Biogeographic zones. Economical geography of Chile. Santiago: Corporación de Fomento de la Producción. (In Spanish).Google Scholar
- Ritchie, E.G., C.R. Dickman, M. Letnic, A.T. Vanak, and M. Gommper. 2014. Dogs as predators and trophic regulators. In Free-ranging Dogs and Wildlife Conservation, ed. M. E. Gompper: 55–68. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Rivas, F. 2015. Campaign against the hunting of wild dogs goes viral. Radio Biobío. Retrieved 15 February 2018 from https://www.biobiochile.cl/noticias/2015/02/05/campana-contra-lacaza-de-perros-salvajes-se-tomaredes-sociales.shtml. (In Spanish).
- Ryan, G.W., and H.R. Bernard. 2000. Data management and analysis methods. In Handbook of qualitative research, ed. N.K. Denzin and Y.S. Lincoln, 769–802. Thousand Oaks: SAGE.Google Scholar
- Zúñiga, A.H., and A. Muñoz-Pedreros. 2014. Feeding habits of Puma concolor (Carnivora, Felidae) in fragmented forests in the south of Chile. Mastozoologia Neotropical 21: 157–161. (In Spanish. Summary in English).Google Scholar