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‘Livestock Insurance’ Could Protect Predators and Farmer Profits

‘Livestock Insurance’ Could Protect Predators and Farmer Profits

These farmers often face a difficult dilemma: protect their animals from endangered predators, or spare the threatened species at the expense of their livestock and livelihood.

A new paper that examines such circumstances faced by farmers and snow leopards in Pakistan, outlines a plan under which farmers can protect themselves from crippling financial losses while preserving and possibly benefiting from the lives of endangered predators.

“These livestock owners often have very low incomes,” says Ted Loch-Temzelides, an economist at Rice University. “The loss of even one animal can be financially devastating.

“They’re faced with the difficult task of weighing conservation efforts against economic losses due to attacks on their herds. And this situation isn’t limited to snow leopards—it applies anywhere large predators live near livestock.”

Loch-Temzelides proposes establishing community livestock insurance contracts for farmers in developing countries who don’t have access to the types of policies available in more developed nations.

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