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Oklahoma Doubles How Many Black Vultures Ranchers Can Kill or Capture to Protect Livestock

By Anna Pope

The number of black vultures Oklahoma livestock producers can capture or kill with a sub-permit has increased from five to 10.

The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture Food and Forestry, working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services and the U.S. Department, made the increase.

Black vultures have the critical role of cleaning up animal carcasses. As KOSU reported last summer, the population has expanded northward and their attacks on livestock like calves have become an issue for some producers.

Under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the birds are protected and cannot legally be killed without federal permission.

The state Department of Agriculture is part of the federal Black Vulture Livestock Protection Program and has a statewide master depredation permit through the USDA and federal wildlife services. Producers can get a free sub-permit through the state to dispose of the birds attacking their livestock.

Applicants for the permit must follow certain rules and regulations, for instance, they must adopt non-lethal measures to prevent black vulture depredation.

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