Livestock owners that experience damages (injury or death) to their livestock from wildlife may be eligible for compensation for the value of the livestock under the Ontario Wildlife Damage Compensation Program. This is a Provincial program.
When a livestock owner experiences damages to their livestock, and wants to claim compensation for the damages, they must contact the Municipality within 48 hours of discovering the injury or death.
The Provincial guidelines specifically state that the municipality must be contacted first. Please do not contact livestock investigators directly. Municipal staff will contact a livestock investigator to contact the livestock owner and visit the damage site.
The Provincial guidelines states that the livestock investigator will make a complete investigation within seventy-two hours (72 hours) of being notified. We strive to have the livestock investigator attend the damage site as soon as possible after notification by the livestock owner.
When the livestock investigator attends the property they will take pictures and assess the site and livestock.
The livestock investigator will complete a written application within seven (7) business days after conducting the inspection. There are sections of the application which must be completed by the livestock owner. Be sure to work with the livestock investigator to ensure the owner portions of the application are completed.
A copy of the application will be provided to the Municipality, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and the Livestock Owner.
For a livestock owner to be eligible they must have a valid Farm Business Registration Number (FBR) and have a Premises Identification Number. Contact the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs for more information.
The Provincial guideline stipulates that livestock owners should ensure that a livestock carcass is not removed from the site where it was discovered until the livestock investigator has attended the property to assess the loss. The Province has denied claims if they feel that the farmer has not taken all necessary precautions to secure the site.
The Municipality encourages livestock owners to take pictures of any damaged/injured/killed livestock when it is discovered. Livestock owners are also encouraged to take pictures of the secured site.
Livestock owners may provide the pictures to the livestock investigator and/or to the Municipality. The application has a section for the livestock owner to sign and indicate if the owner will be providing additional evidence. Be sure to complete this section of the application.
If an owner has submitted five (5) applications under the program within one (1) calendar year and intends to submit a subsequent application, the Ministry will require the completion and submission of a reasonable care plan. Templates and more information can be obtained from the Ministry.
There are limits to the amount of compensation that can be claimed and the types of livestock and types of wildlife that cause the damages. This is set by the Province. Livestock owners are encouraged to read the guidelines provided by the Province under this program.
The Town submits the completed application to the Ministry. The Ministry decides the compensation which will be given. The owner will be notified within thirty (30) business days of submission of a complete application.
The livestock owner will only be compensated once the claim is approved by the Ministry and all appeal periods have expired.
Appeals can be lodged by the livestock owner within twenty (20) business days of the date on the notification letter. Livestock owners are encouraged to read the Ministry guidelines to understand the appeal process and responsibilities of each party in an appeal.
Damages caused by dogs are not part of this program. Other legislation governs damage by dogs. Livestock owners are encouraged to read the Protection of Livestock and Poultry from Dogs Act for more information.