Coyotes a growing nuisance for Va. farmers

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Federal wildlife officials say coyotes have become a nuisance for farmers across Virginia.

Once an isolated problem, coyotes are now found in every county in the state. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that 170 sheep, 21 calves and 45 goats were killed by coyotes last year. The livestock deaths were reported by 150 farms.

Chad Fox is a district supervisor for the USDA's Wildlife Services agency. He says the kill statistics represent only a portion of the coyote problem. He says they damage fences and stress farm animals.

Fox says there is little that can be done to slow the spread of coyotes. He says the best deterrent is a good fence.

Coyotes are considered a nuisance species so there are no restrictive hunting seasons.