VULTURES as problem animals for livestock

(May 2016) Vultures do not normally attack livestock for their food supply, however reports have been received of livestock losses due to vultures attacking live animals.  This can be ascribed to the following;

  • due to better agricultural practises less ‘natural’ mortalities occur in agriculture resulting in less food available for vultures to consume
  • in the traditional homeland areas all livestock is kraaled every night due to predator and theft problems which also results in better animal management (indirectly)

Vultures, especially the juvenile and immature groups of birds are therefore under tremendous pressure to ‘find’ food and could be seen to be attacking stock that is still alive especially weak, sick animals or animals battling to calve, lamb or kid.  It is for this reason we encourage landowners to establish restaurants to supply safe food for these birds as they play a very vital role in the ecosystem.

When putting out food for vultures one can overcome the possibility of them “attacking” your livestock as well as assisting in the survival of our vultures in Africa      However, safe food is of vital importance and one must be aware that stock that have been treated with NSAID drugs, euthanized or have died after being darted are potential killers for vultures.

Should you require any assistance with any of the following;-

  • how to go about operating a vulture restaurant
  • what medications are harmful to vultures
  • if you are unsure of what is ‘safe’ food for vultures
  • or any other queries regarding vultures

Consult the following persons:

Dr Gerhard Verdoorn (Griffon Poison information Centre), Cell no: 082 446 8946, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Kerri Wolter (VULPRO), Cell no: 082 808 5113, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Kate Webster (VULPRO E Cape), Cell no: 082 702 5942, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

PLEASE NOTE: should you establish a restaurant please inform VULPRO with the following details; name of landowner (restaurant operator), name of the property, co ordinates of the site, contact details and any other information you deem necessary. This will be included on our data base and the restaurant newsletter will be forwarded to you.