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(DLM8424) - Ernie Etchart, 43, is greeted by his guard dog, Jo Jo, as he arrives to feed a flock of 1500 sheep that he has grazing on federal BLM land near the Roubideau Canyon west of Montrose, Colo., Monday, Feb. 26, 2007. Jo Jo is an Akbash, a breed that is often used to protect sheep from predators such as coyotes. Etchart uses other tactics to protect his sheep including the use of M44's, a type of trap that kills predators with a charge that fires sodium cyanide into a predators mouth, skin and eyes. Several environmental groups have started a petition to ask the Environmental Protection Agency to prohibit the use of M44's. Etchart said it is just one of the tools that he uses to protect his flock, but that at times, particularly during lambing season, predation can be devastating so he needs as many options as he can get. (DARIN MCGREGOR/ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS) **Ernie Etchart (cq)

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