Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) has warned farmers of a livestock guard dog scam. In a statement on 28 December 2020, the fund said it had received a number of reports of livestock guard dogs(LGDs) being sold to farmers by persons not associated with the CCF.
The fund said it has been discovered that Anatolian shepherd and Kangal puppies are being sold directly to farmers as guard dogs, but the fund has no association with the breeders or the puppies.
“These dogs are not a part of CCF’s guard dog programme, and they have not been trained to guard livestock.
CCF’s sources have reported these puppies from the unknown breeder cost betweenN$3 000 and N$5 000.
The standard placement fee for a CCF guard dog is much lower, so puppies priced at this level do not come from CCF,” said the statement.
CCF said they would assist any farmer who believes they have been duped.
The fund explained that all dogs placed by CCF have microchips with their own unique number and these numbers are only known to CCF staff while CCF only place one guard dog on a farm at a time so that the dogs grow up bonding with the livestock and not with a sibling.
CCF added that dogs placed by the fund are spayedor neutered, so they focus more on their guarding jobs.
The dogs are placed on farms at a capped cost, which can be affordable for the farmers, CCF said.
After placement, CCF staff performs three-month, six-month and 12-month follow-up visits to check on the dogs.
Visits are conducted on a yearly basis thereafter to ensure that they are working well and are healthy, the fund said.
CCF is seeking information to identify the source of the Anatolian shepherd and Kangal puppies and is willingto work with individuals that have these puppies in their care and training.