Wildlife and Domesticated Animals on the Farm
The FSMA Produce Safety Rule requires monitoring wildlife and domesticated animals in areas where they may pose a risk of contamination to covered produce and, if significant evidence of potential contamination is found, not harvesting any produce that may be contaminated.
What are wild animals?
Wild animals are those animals living in a state of nature and not ordinarily tamed or domesticated. Feral animals are those that have escaped from domestication and become wild.
What are domesticated animals?
Domesticated animal include working animals (such as draft animals for field operations and transportation); guard animals used to deter pests and predators; and service animals and pets.
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Growers need to understand state and federal laws governing management and control of wildlife and their impact on produce growing and handling areas.
Colorado Nuisance Wildlife Laws: Summaries of Colorado’s most common regulations and statutes pertaining to nuisance wildlife questions.
- Full text of these regulations: http://cpw.state.co.us/aboutus/Pages/Regulations.aspx.
- Definition of game damage: http://cpw.state.co.us/Documents/RulesRegs/Regulations/Ch17.pdf
Endangered Species (search the map) Search the database for endangered species and their habitats. Note that the Produce Safety Rule does not authorize the taking of any threatened or endangered species, defined under the Endangered Species Act.
Wildlife Damage Management: Information on damage identification and abatement using habitat modification, frightening devices and biological, repellent and auditory, visual and other techniques to reduce food safety risks presented by birds and mammals (USDA-APHIS-Wildlife Services).
Game Damage Program, Colorado Parks & Wildlife: Resources to prevent and identify crop damage from big game species.
Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management Research-based information on identifying
- Animal Activity Decision Tree (English, Spanish) by CSU Extension.
- Track and Scat Glovebox Guide (for Southwest AZ) by Dametreea L. Carr, Kaylee J. Renick, Elissa Malott, Paula Rivadeneira, Jean McLain, Kurt D. Nolte and Channah M. Rock. University of Arizona.
- What is the Risk from Wild Animals in Food-Borne Pathogen Contamination of Plants? by Michele Jay-Russell, 2013. CAB Reviews 2013 8, No. 040.
- Potential Role of Wildlife in Pathogenic Contamination of Fresh Produce by Jeff A. Langholz and Michele Jay-Russell. In Human-Wildlife Interactions 7(1): 140-157, Spring 2013.
- Feral in the Fields: Food Safety Risks from Wildlife by Michele Jay-Russell. Food Safety News 19 Sep 2011.
- Evaluation of Techniques to Reduce Deer and Elk Damage to Agricultural Crops Wildlife Society Bulletin; DOI: 10.1002/wsb.408.
Balancing food safety and sustainability goals is a vital goal of produce industry management. Under the Produce Safety Rule, co-management is encouraged but not required. On their farms, growers are active stewards of the land, protecting soil and water quality as well as supporting wildlife populations by preserving their habitat. At the same time, they must ensure that their crops are free from contamination that can cause foodborne illnesses. Use the resources below to learn more about co-management.
- Co-Management of Food Safety and Sustainability in Fresh Produce (video; UC Davis)
- Co-Management of Food Safety and Sustainability: more resources including fact sheets and food safety auditor information (University of California, UC Food Safety)
- A Farmers Guide to Food Safety and Conservation (updated fact sheet; Wild Farm Alliance & Community Alliance with Family Farmers)
- Food Safety and Conservation Resources (The Wild Farm Alliance)
Issues with Wildlife?
If you are experiencing any issues with wildlife, or if you have any questions about wildlife management in areas where it may contact produce, please use the following contacts at Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) based on your location:
Northeast Region: 303-291-7227
Northwest Region: 970-255-6100
Southeast Region: 719-227-5200
Southwest Region: 970-247-0855