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Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Farmers’ Training Days and Dog Visits – an update from the Livestock Guarding Dog Team

The CCF Livestock Guarding Dog team has been on the road this August to visit all the dogs born last year to ensure their health and progress on the farms where they were placed. Additionally, we were invited to talk at farmers’ days about predators, livestock and good farm management.

On the 18 August, Gebhardt Nikanor accompanied by Kenneth (student intern) travelled to the far east of the country, close to the border of Botswana, to talk to the communal farmers in the area about predators. CCF was invited to this day by another NGO working in this community on rangeland and natural resource management and they requested our assistance in addressing predators as part of the natural ecosystem. Gebhardt was enthusiastically received by 20 people representing households in these communities and he presented a predator and kill identification workshop, with an emphasis on reducing livestock losses to predators. Following the farmers’ day, he visited the one-year old dogs in the eastern side of the country and reported that they are looking good and working well.

The CCF team conducting the kill identification workshop with communal farmers.
Farmers attending the workshop in eastern Namibian communal lands.
On the 23 August, Gail Potgieter accompanied by Nancy Boynton (volunteer) headed out to the western side of Namibia to visit the dogs placed in this area last year. All of the dogs were doing well and in good condition. This trip was combined with a farmers’ information day held by the Omkhaibasen Farmers’ Co-operative near the town of Usakos. Gail spoke to the farmers about predators, kill identification, livestock management and livestock guarding dogs.

The farmers and speakers at the Omkhaibasen Farmers’ Co-operative training day
CCF’s Farmer of the Year 2011, Isak Ouseb, organised the farmers’ training day and invited CCF to talk. Mr. Ouseb also has two CCF livestock guarding dogs working with the co-operative’s herds of goats and sheep and they are both doing exceptionally well. One of the dogs, Fabiana, was given to the co-operative after she was confiscated from another farm due to malnourishment. This dog is now happy and healthy, having made the co-operative her new home.

Fabiana at her new home.

The CCF Livestock Guarding Dog Programme Team

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