Supporting Tushetian Shepeherds to Improve Livestock Tending Practices

1 March, 2012

On February 18-24, in the framework of the Georgia Carnivore Conservation Project, Tushetian shepherds and farmers on the winter pastures of the Vashlovani National Park were given trainings on issues relating to tending livestock. The trainings were held by members of the Kakheti Regional Association of Veterinarians under the coordination of the Center for Management of Veterinarians’ Associations and were directly monitored by the head of the group for response to conflict between humans and carnivores created in the framework of the Carnivore Conservation Project.

The training course was taken by 33 representatives of the family farms on the Vashlovani protected area, as a result of which the livestock owners and shepherds received additional information about tending and treatment of livestock and about the diseases of domestic animals that are common in Georgia.

The training participants were given auxiliary materials which had been prepared by qualified veterinarians and will serve as a manual.

The training course, which was planned based on the needs of the farmers interviewed on summer pastures, is part of one of the components of the Georgia Carnivore Conservation Project – mitigation of conflict between humans and carnivores in Eastern Georgia, and aims at decreasing the economic damage caused by livestock diseases and, in this way, making farmers’ attitudes towards large carnivores more tolerant, which implies farmers’ help in protecting and conserving them.

According to a study conducted in 2010 on the Vashlovani protected area and its surroundings in the framework of the Georgia Carnivore Conservation Project, the main causes of livestock loss named by shepherds are carnivore attacks and different contagious diseases. It should be noted that there is not a single veterinary clinic in the Dedoplistskaro District, which makes it difficult to set an accurate diagnosis for and treat infected livestock. In addition, high quality vaccines and veterinary service are expensive, due to which livestock owners vaccinate domestic animals with low quality, ineffective vaccines.

The information received as a result of the training held on the Vashlovani winter pastures will enable farmers to improve the techniques of tending livestock and to better plan the preventive measures against the spread of the diseases, which will contribute to decreasing economic damage caused by livestock mortality.




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