In that sad case a woman was mauled and the flock owner, whose LGDs were confined during the day of the mountain bike race and released at sundown, was convicted of owning vicious dogs. His guardian dogs were killed. [Read the ongoing discussion on the Sheep Production Forum.]
At the American Sheep Industry Association's Annual Convention in Nashville last month, the ASI working group on Livestock Protection Dogs was feeling the heat:
ASI strongly believes that the use of LPDs on federal grazing allotments is in serious jeopardy, and anticipates three possible outcomes: 1) Federal agencies develop their own mandatory regulations for the use of LPDs on grazing allotments; 2) Federal agencies completely eliminate the use of LPDs on grazing allotments; or 3) ASI takes a proactive management position and adopts a stringent LPD certification program that sets high industry standards for the use of LPDs with the intent to effectively manage and maintain the use of LPDs on federal grazing allotments.That quote was taken from a five-page document the ASI is calling its draft management program for livestock guardian dogs. A certification program is recommended, and there are guidelines for everything from socialization and training to coat care and mandatory neuter. [I suffered AB 1634 flashbacks.]
Sheep Production Forum owner Bill Fosher doesn't like the proposal either, and he's a sheep producer and guardian dog owner. He writes:
While I can understand and appreciate that the ASI is trying to take a pro-active stand, I believe that its proposal will do more harm than good. You can read it for yourself here. ASI is seeking input, and I believe that every sheep producer who uses livestock guardian dogs should read the document carefully and comment extensively.Go to the Edgefield Sheep blog to read Guard dogs under threat, Bill's excellent commentary on the ASI proposal. And if you raise sheep and rely on livestock guardian dogs, please send your comments on the proposal to the ASI.
[In the photo: woman meets livestock guardian near Cabrales, in northern Spain. She's a dog person, but this working mastiff growled at her husband, who kept his distance (and used a zoom lens while she examined the spiked collar). The blog post he wrote about the encounter and about the return of flock guardians to the Spanish countryside is called La Torna del Cancerbero (The Return of Cerberus).]