LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, USA – OPINION/NEWS: It is reported that a mountain lion who was being tracked by scientists as part of a study has been shot dead because it had hunted and killed the livestock of a farmer who’d reported the loss of 12 animals over 2 years.
It is illegal to hunt mountain lions in California except when they kill livestock which allows a farmer to apply for a license to shot the cat provided they have tried nonlethal methods first such as protecting livestock with enclosures and emptying trained guard dogs.
The mountain lion shot was designated P-56. He was about five-years-of -age. He’d been tracked for about 3 years to ascertain how mountain lions survive under increased encroachment of their habitat by human settlements.
Okay, that is the background. If the objective is to protect both the farmer’s assets and the mountain lion might it not be a better idea if all of California’s farmers contributed to a custom designed insurance scheme in which they are compensated for loss of livestock by mountain lion predation?
This would seem to be a more equitable solution compared to shooting the cat because often farmers have encroached upon the home ranges of mountain lions. This applies to all human activity in US states where the human population is growing.
Such an insurance scheme need not necessarily be imposed solely on farmers of livestock. It could be imposed in the form of a very small increase in income tax. The money raised could compensate all businesses and even individuals negatively affected by wildlife.
It would help create a more balanced relationship between humans and wild animals. There is a duty on humans to protect the planet as it is our home. It is also our duty to find a sustainable solution to conflicts between humans and predatory wild species. As humans are eroding the habitat of wild species the duty to protect these animals falls upon humans and particularly businesses.
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