Pfluger advocates for ability of farmers, ranchers to protect their herds

U.S. Rep. August Pfluger (R-TX) is leading an effort to reverse a ban on M-44 predator control devices that farmers and ranchers use to protect their livestock from coyotes and foxes.

In a letter dated June 6 addressed to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Rep. Pfluger, U.S. Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), and their colleagues urged the agency to roll back its ban on purchasing or deploying M-44 sodium cyanide ejector devices that was included in the Fiscal Year 2024 Appropriations package signed into law on March 8.

“It is imperative that Congress and the Department of Agriculture (USDA) work in harmony to ensure producers have access to the resources they need to address aggressive predators,” the lawmakers wrote. 

They noted that the continued production of M-44 devices falls within the law and that farmers and ranchers should continue having access to that safe and effective tool. 

In Texas, it is estimated that predation of sheep and goats results in approximately $25 million annually in revenue losses, the letter stated, while in Montana, coyotes killed more than 1,500 livestock in Fiscal Year 2023. 

U.S. Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) and U.S. Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-SD) were among the lawmakers who joined Rep. Pfluger in signing the letter.

“American ranchers are the foundation of our food and economic security, and we must promote policies that protect their viability,” they wrote.