Dispose of livestock carcasses to deter predation of livestock by mammals to reduce human-wildlife conflict
Overall effectiveness category Unknown effectiveness (limited evidence)
Number of studies: 1
Background information and definitions
Leaving livestock carcasses in place on farms after death may attract mammalian carnivores that may also attack live farm animals. Carcasses can be removed to eliminate this form of attraction for predators. If this results in fewer predators being attracted to farms and, consequently, less predation on livestock, this could reduce incentives for carrying out lethal control of such predators.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
A site comparison study in 1975–1976 of 97 sheep farms in Kansas, USA (Robel et al. 1981) found that when sheep carcasses were buried or removed, sheep losses to coyotes Canis latrans and dogs Canis lupus familiaris were reduced compared to leaving them on the pasture, but burning carcasses did not reduce predation. The proportion of sheep lost to coyotes or dogs each month was lower when carcasses were buried (0.05%) or removed (0.08%) than when they were left in place (0.14%). The rate when carcasses were burned (0.17%) did not differ from that of leaving them in place. Ninety-seven farms were studied, on which total sheep numbers varied through the study period from 14,578 to 17,023. Farmers recorded monthly sheep losses and husbandry methods for 15 months.Study and other actions tested