Black vulture attacks on livestock are a serious and costly issue for many Tennessee producers who experience losses of livestock to black vultures.
Unfortunately, producers are limited in legal methods of removing problem black vultures since they are protected under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Previously, the only legal option to protect livestock from depredation was to apply annually for an individual black vulture depredation permit at the cost of $100.
The Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation (TFBF) Board of Directors has obtained a statewide depredation permit for black vultures from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). TFBF has worked with both state and federal elected and agency personnel to be able to issue sub-permits to livestock producers who are experiencing problems with black vultures.
This permit provides Farm Bureau members who are livestock producers an opportunity to apply for a livestock protection depredation sub-permit allowing legal "takes" of black vultures that are attacking livestock. The statewide permit will be administered by TFBF. There is no cost to TFBF members who apply for a TFBF livestock protection depredation sub-permit.
Sub-permits will be issued to livestock operations only. Applications will be scored based on the information provided regarding past depredation history, proximity of black vulture roosts, number of livestock on the farm and the general livestock density of the area based on the most recent Tennessee Agricultural Statistic Service.
Applicants must agree to follow all rules and regulations required by USFWS in the TFBF statewide permit, including:
•Adoption of non-lethal measures to deter black vulture depredation,
•Use of shotguns and "non-toxic" shot in the lethal "taking" of depredating black vultures,
•Report "takes" to TFBF quarterly,
•Use of black vulture carcasses as effigies in areas where depredation is occurring.
Producers approved for sub-permits will receive a signed approval and sub-permit with an allotted number of black vulture "takes," a copy of the TFBF statewide depredation permit, guidelines for removal methods and a black vulture dispatch log.
Producers experiencing extreme depredation and large black vulture roosts are encouraged to apply for an individual black vulture depredation permit with USFWS. Individual permits allow producers to be approved for a larger number of "takes" by USFWS.
Sub-permit applications are available at tnfarmbureau.org/blackvultures (Black Vulture sub-permit 2018) or at any county Farm Bureau office in Tennessee. Applications should be returned to Tennessee Farm Bureau, Attn: Debbie Briggs, P.O. Box 313, Columbia, Tennessee 38402.