Animals (pets and strays) are farmers’ friends. They may be your no.1 fan (cats and dogs) and may reduce your costs of hauling and land preparation as in the case of carabaos and other draft animals. But these creatures can also wreak havoc on your farm and farm produce.
The Philippine National Standards for Good Agricultural Practices strongly recommend that your crops be protected from stray animals. Their behavior is considered as a source of risk, damage and loss to production.
Dogs are territorial. They mark their territory with their urine. Yes, that includes your veggies. Try to let them into your production area and they will mark every plot and every bed with your harvestable crops. If you are lucky, they will also do their “dirty” business there.
Chicken, ducks and all members of the avian and foul family could destroy plots, seedlings and damage fresh produce. Their droppings are laden with Salmonella spp.
Carabaos and other ruminants (goats and sheep) will naturally eat your crops. Carabaos and cattle eat crop manure at 30kgs per day. Goats’ and sheep’s favorite part are the growing points of the plants. Before you know it, they can defoliate the entire field of your crop.
Thus, GAP reminds the farmers to secure their farms from animals.