A few weeks ago, we looked at various areas of our livestock sector. This week, we change direction somewhat and look at wildlife issues with livestock you might not be aware of.
The Ontario Wildlife Damage Compensation Program is designed to provide compensation to eligible applicants whose livestock and/or poultry have been injured or killed as a result of wildlife, or whose bee colonies, beehives and/or beehive related equipment has been damaged as a result of wildlife.
You may be surprised at the number of farm livestock/poultry injured or killed each year as a result of wildlife, which can include: wolves, foxes, coyotes, bears, weasels, minks, racoons, skunks, turkey vultures, ravens, hawks, fishers, and cougars.
Last year in Ontario, there 7,416 reported incidents of farm livestock/poultry being injured or killed as a result of wildlife attacks. This amounted to damages of over $1.7 million.
Here in Chatham-Kent, our livestock/poultry numbers are quite smaller compared to other areas, but last year there were 124 reported incidents of farm livestock/poultry being injured or killed as a result of wildlife attacks. This amounted to damages of around $6,000.
Our livestock sector does all it can to protect their farm animals, but they can’t watch them 24 hours a day. With the increase in the coyote population in our area, this unfortunately could lead to more incidents.
If you are a farmer of livestock and poultry, or for anyone else interested, here is how the Ontario Wildlife Damage Compensation Program works.
When the owner of livestock or poultry discovers that any of the owner’s animals have been injured or killed, and to the best of the owner’s knowledge and belief such injury or death was caused by wildlife, the owner must contact the municipality within 48 hours of discovering the injury or death. The contact person here in Chatham-Kent is Carson Anderson, who is Chatham-Kent’s appointed Livestock Valuer. He can be reached by telephone at 519-674-2396.
The Livestock Valuer will make and complete a full investigation within three days of being notified. When conducting an investigation, the Livestock Valuer will record such evidence, including the taking of photographs and/or video, that is reasonably necessary to allow another person to review the evidence and make a conclusion as to whether wildlife caused the injury or death to the livestock or poultry. The Livestock Valuer will also make and serve a report in writing within ten business days after receiving notification.
If you have any specific questions, you can contact OMAFRA at the following address, telephone, or e-mail:
Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
1 Stone Road West, Guelph, ON N1G 4Y2
Attention: Ontario Wildlife Damage Compensation Program
Think about this – Hope that has its foundation in God will not crumble under the pressures of life.
Just some food for thought.
Remember that here in Chatham-Kent ‘WE GROW FOR THE WORLD’.