Ontario Wildlife Damage Compensation Program - Program Guidelines

Effective Date: February 1, 2019

These guidelines are subject to change from time to time. Consult the ministry's website at ontario.ca/predation, or call the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) at 1-877-424-1300, to find more information about the Ontario Wildlife Damage Compensation Program and predation prevention resources. In the event of a conflict between these guidelines and the Order in Council (OIC) 502-2016, the OIC will prevail.


Table of Contents

Ontario Wildlife Damage Compensation Program: Overview

The Ontario Wildlife Damage Compensation Program provides financial assistance to eligible producers whose: livestock or poultry has been killed or injured as a result of eligible wildlife predation; or bee colonies, beehives or bee-hive related equipment have been damaged by eligible wildlife.

The OWDCP is part of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (The Partnership), a five-year, $3 billion federal-provincial-territorial funding program launched in 2018. The Partnership supports our agri-food and agri-products sector by encouraging innovation, competitiveness and market development, and offering business risk management assistance.

In 2018, OMAFRA undertook an evaluation of the OWDCP to ensure it was delivering services to owners in an effective, transparent, and efficient manner. The changes being brought forward are the result of the program evaluation and consultations with producers, municipal investigators, commodity organizations, and predation experts and will ensure greater transparency as well as fair and consistent compensation for producers across the province.

Program Changes - What's New?

A Standardized Valuation Model for Compensation Consistency

OMAFRA is improving the standardized compensation rates and clarifying premiums that owners can receive for damage caused by predatory wildlife. OMAFRA will continue to assign a fair market value (FMV) for livestock or poultry injured or killed by eligible wildlife. FMV is the average value an owner might receive for an animal with specific characteristics, such as age and weight.

Appeal Process

A new appeal process has been implemented to allow owners to request a review of their application decision. Grounds for appeal have been clarified. An independent reviewer will review appealed applications and provide recommendations to the ministry. Details of the appeal process are set out in these guidelines.

Program Responsibilities

Owner

Owners are responsible for:

  • Demonstrating reasonable care of livestock, poultry, beehives, bee colonies and beehive-related equipment in relation to the prevention of predation.
  • Notifying their municipality within 48 hours of discovering the injury or death of livestock or poultry, or discovering damage to beehives, a bee colony and/or beehive-related equipment if the owner believes that the injury, death or damage was due to wildlife.
    • If the incident occurs in a territory without municipal organization, the owner must notify OMAFRA (1-877-424-1300) within 48 hours.
  • Preserving the injury or kill site and carcass (or carcasses) until the municipal or territorial investigator has investigated and agrees it/they can be destroyed or disposed of, unless it contravenes Ontario Regulation 106/09 of the Nutrient Management Act, 2002.
    • It is strongly suggested that upon discovery, producers document the predatory event by taking clear photographs and notes of the carcass and kill site that can be submitted in addition to the photographs taken by the investigator.
  • Completing relevant sections of the application pertaining to owner identification and eligibility requirements.
  • Reviewing the application completed by the Investigator for accuracy and signing the completed application form prior to its submission.
  • Disposing of all dead livestock and poultry in a manner that is acceptable under Ontario Regulation 106/09 of the Nutrient Management Act, 2002.
  • Immediately seeking veterinary care or other treatment to prevent further suffering of an injured animal. If the animal is in distress and suffering, the producer may euthanize it before the investigator arrives without affecting program eligibility.
  • Submitting a completed Reasonable Care Plan (see section called Reasonable Care) if an owner has submitted five applications to the program within one calendar year (January 1 to December 31) and intends to submit a subsequent application.
  • Submitting any additional evidence (i.e., photos, breeding records, registration documents etc.) to the investigator within seven business days of the on-site investigation if the owner believes the evidence of the investigator is inadequate or incomplete.
Investigator

The municipal or territorial investigator is responsible for:

  • Carrying out a full and impartial investigation within 72 hours of receiving the notification of the injury or death of livestock or poultry.
  • Taking three to six colour photos per eligible kill/injury incurred and collecting all necessary information to accurately complete the application.
  • Completing the sections of the application relevant to the investigation and having the owner review and sign the completed program application prior to submission.
  • Municipal investigators are responsible for providing a copy of the completed program application to the owner and municipality within seven business days of completing an investigation.
  • Territorial investigators are responsible for providing a copy of the completed program application to the owner and OMAFRA's program administrator within seven business days of completing an investigation, as well as any additional evidence from the owner.

The bee investigator is responsible for:

  • Carrying out a full and impartial investigation within three business days of receiving notification of the damage to a beehive, bee colonies and/or beehive-related equipment.
  • Taking three to six colour photos per eligible kill/injury incurred and collecting all necessary information to accurately complete the application.
  • Completing the application and having the owner review and sign the completed program application prior to submission.
  • Providing a copy of the completed program application to the owner and OMAFRA's program administrator within seven business days of completing an investigation, as well as any additional evidence from the owner.
Municipalities

Municipalities are responsible for:

  • Appointing qualified municipal investigators.
  • Ensuring the application is complete and collecting any missing information prior to submission.
  • Reviewing and submitting completed applications and any additional evidence to OMAFRA's program administrator.
  • Paying an owner's approved application, in accordance with the program guidelines and values assigned by the program administrator.
  • Providing Statement of Farm Support Payments (AGR-1) to owners who receive compensation.
  • Paying and reimbursing municipal investigators.

Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

OMAFRA is responsible for:

  • Administering the program.
  • Appointing investigators for territories without a municipal organization and bee investigators.
  • Posting the standardized pricing table containing the fair market values for all eligible livestock and poultry, and updating the table on a regular basis.
  • Reviewing applications to determine eligibility and assigning values based on the information provided.
  • Providing the owner with a written decision within 30 business days of receiving a complete application.
  • Receiving owners' requests for appeal, determining eligibility for appeal and notifying the Program Director and independent reviewer of all eligible requests for review.
  • Notifying the owner of the recommendation from the independent reviewer as well as the final decision of the appeal.
  • Reimbursing municipalities in accordance with the program guidelines.

Eligibility Criteria

Owner

To be eligible for the program, the owner must meet the following conditions:

  • Be a person (includes a sole proprietor, corporation, partnership and unincorporated association).
  • Be in compliance with and remain in compliance with all federal, provincial and municipal laws.
  • Have a valid premises identification (PID) number for the farm property where the damage or kill occurred or a confirmation letter provided by the Indian Agriculture Program of Ontario (IAPO), or, for beehive, bee colony or beehive-related equipment damage, have a beekeeper ID registered under the Bees Act.

What is a premises identification (PID) number?

A PID number is a unique identifying number assigned to a parcel of land. It is free and quick to obtain a PID. Most PIDs begin with "ON", followed by a seven-digit number. If you need to obtain one, visit www.ontariopid.com or call 1-888-247-4999.

  • Have a valid Farm Business Registration Number (FBRN) within the current or previous calendar year or valid FBRN exemption.
    • A valid FBRN will also reference the owner's name (business or owner name) listed on the program application.

What is a Farm Business Registration Number?

This is a six-to-seven-digit number for a qualifying farm business. Farm businesses that declare gross farm incomes of $7,000 or more (for income tax purposes) must register their farm business and make their payment. A FBRN can be received by registering with Agricorp at 1-888-247-4999.

  • A valid FBRN exemption will:
    • Cover the current or previous calendar year.
    • Reference the owner's name (business or owner name) listed on the program application.
    • Be one of the following:
      • Religious Exemption: requires a copy of the Religious Exemption Letter as provided by the Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Appeal Tribunal (AFRAAT).
      • Cultural Exemption for Indigenous producers: requires a letter from the Indian Agriculture Program of Ontario (IAPO) verifying the farm business operates in a First Nations community.
      • Gross Farm Income Exemption Letter granted by OMAFRA or Agricorp.
  • Have a Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) business number. Compensation received under the program is considered taxable income by Canada Revenue Agency. Municipalities (or OMAFRA in the case of bee claims or claims in territories without municipal organization) will issue Statement of Farm Support Payments (AGR1) for income tax purposes.
    • Applicants without a CRA Number need to provide their Social Insurance Number to the Municipality and/or OMAFRA when requested.
  • Provide and demonstrate that reasonable care of livestock, poultry, beehives, bee colonies and beehive-related equipment has been taken in order to prevent predation.
  • Ensure sufficient evidence is available in order to determine that predation was the cause of death/injury.
  • Agree to fully cooperate with any audits related to compensation the owner receives under the program.
  • Agree to be bound by the requirements of the OIC and these program guidelines.

The Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs may, on an annual basis, update the eligibility requirements and add further eligibility criteria.

Eligible Livestock Species

  • Alpaca
  • Bison
  • Cattle
  • Deer
  • Donkey
  • Elk
  • Emu
  • Fisher
  • Goat
  • Horse
  • Llama
  • Lynx
  • Marten
  • Mink
  • Mule
  • Ostrich
  • Rabbit
  • Racoon
  • Rhea
  • Sheep
  • Swine

Eligible Poultry Species*

  • Bobwhite, northern
  • Chicken
  • Duck
  • Goose
  • Grouse, ruffed
  • Grouse, spruce
  • Grouse, sharp-tailed
  • Partridge, gray (Hungarian)
  • Pheasant, ring-necked
  • Ptarmigan, rock
  • Ptarmigan, willow
  • Tu
  • Turkey, wild

*The total weight of poultry injured or killed must be more than 25 kilograms (55 pounds) on a single application.

Eligible Wildlife Species for Damage to Livestock and Poultry

  • Bear
  • Bobcat
  • Cougar
  • Coyote
  • Crow
  • Eagle
  • Elk
  • Fisher
  • Fox
  • Hawk
  • Lynx
  • Mink
  • Raccoon
  • Raven
  • Vulture
  • Weasel
  • Wolf

Eligible Wildlife Species for Damage to Beehives, Bee Colonies and/or Beehive-related Equipment

  • Bear
  • Deer
  • Raccoon
  • Skunk

Eligible Damages

  • Eligible livestock/poultry killed by an eligible predator.
  • Veterinarian costs for eligible livestock/poultry injured by an eligible predator.
  • Beehives, bee colonies and/or beehive-related equipment damaged by an eligible predator.

Disposal or Destruction: Your Responsibilities

Livestock or Poultry

The owner of the livestock or poultry cannot destroy, dispose of, or permit to be destroyed or disposed of, the carcass of any livestock or poultry reported killed until the municipal or territorial investigator has seen the carcass(es) and agrees that the carcass(es) can be destroyed or disposed of. The one exception to this rule is if the owner of the livestock or poultry is required to dispose of the livestock or poultry because of the requirements set out under Ontario Regulation 106/09 (Disposal of Dead Farm Animals), which states, "an operator may hold a dead farm animal following its death for up to seven days for the purposes of a post-mortem activity." The owner of livestock or poultry shall comply with the requirements set out for the disposal of animals under Ontario Regulation 106/09 of the Nutrient Management Act, 2002 at all times.

Where the municipal or territorial investigator is unable to complete a full investigation within seven days, the owner will need to dispose of the carcass(es). Given that the municipal or territorial investigator will not have an opportunity to see the carcass(es), the death will be attributed to wildlife provided that the owner has collected sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the death was caused by wildlife. The owner is encouraged to take and submit colour photos of the carcass(es), the location where the carcass(es) was/were found and document all evidence indicating an attack occurred to ensure that the program administrator possesses sufficient evidence to evaluate the application.

For more information on deadstock disposal please consult the following website: Deadstock Disposal.

Bee Colony, Beehive or Beehive-related Equipment

The owner of the beehive, bee colony or beehive-related equipment shall not destroy or dispose of, or permit to be destroyed or disposed of, the beehive, bee colony or beehive-related equipment reported damaged until the bee investigator has seen the beehive, bee colony or beehive-related equipment and agrees that it can be destroyed or disposed of.

Submitting an Application

For owner and investigator guidance through the application process, consult the following:

The municipality or, in the case of a territory without municipal organization, the territorial investigator is responsible for completing the following tasks prior to submitting the application to the program administrator:

  • Verifying that the application is complete and collecting any missing information prior to submission.
  • Checking that the application has been signed by the municipal investigator, municipality and owner.
  • If the owner indicated on the application that he or she wished to provide additional evidence, ensuring this has been included in the submission.

Completed applications, including photos and supporting documentation, may be emailed to wildlife.damage@ontario.ca.

If possible, combine all attachments into a single PDF file. The maximum file size is 10 megabytes (MB) per email attachment. Multiple emails can be sent if necessary.

How Applications are Assessed

All applications received within the required timelines will be assessed by the program administrator against the following criteria:

  • The owner meets all eligibility requirements.
  • The application is complete:
    • If the application is incomplete or missing information, OMAFRA will contact the municipality, or territorial investigator (in the case of territory without a municipal organization), to request that the information be provided within 15 business days. The ministry will follow up with the municipality if the requested information is not provided within 15 business days.
    • If the information is not provided to OMAFRA within the prescribed timelines, the application will be deemed incomplete and will not be assessed.
  • Livestock and/or poultry have been injured or killed by an eligible wildlife species or bee colonies, beehives and/or beehive-related equipment has been damaged by an eligible wildlife species.
  • Total weight of poultry injured or killed on a single application is more than 25 kilograms (55 pounds).
  • The livestock, poultry or bee colony were in good health prior to the predation event.
  • There is sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the livestock, poultry or bee colony was killed or injured as a result of predation, not by disease, sickness or natural causes. Subsequently the injured animal, carcass or bee damage must be present and assessed by the investigator.
  • The following types of criteria/information will be used to assess applications
    • Primary evidence: Evidence that the animal was alive prior to the attack and did not die of natural causes, and evidence of a predatory attack (e.g., blood, sign of tissue damage/struggle). A full or partial carcass is required.
    • Secondary evidence: Additional supporting information that can help show that predation may have been the cause of death (e.g., scat, tracks, herd behaviour, client predation history), or that provides detail on factors that may have impacted evidence (e.g., rainfall washed away blood).
      • Secondary evidence is intended to support application evaluation, particularly in difficult cases where primary evidence may be inconclusive. Secondary evidence on its own cannot be used to substantiate predation.
  • Evidence must include complete descriptions and supporting photos of the killed/injured species.
  • Damage was not caused by a dog.
  • There is evidence that efforts at reasonable care have been and are being taken to prevent future incidences of predation.
  • If a producer has submitted five (5) applications within a calendar year (January 1 to December 31), a reasonable care plan has been submitted and reviewed.

If the application is deemed eligible and valid, OMAFRA will assign a value for the damages based on the FMV of the loss in the month it was killed, injured, or damaged. If the application is determined to be ineligible the application will not be assessed and the owner will be notified as such.

Assigning Compensation

A standardized pricing table will be used to assign a value to an application that has been found to be eligible for compensation. The tables are reviewed regularly and updated depending on the availability of new market data.

The standardized pricing tables are comprised of industry-recognized market data (e.g., Statistics Canada and AgriStability sources).

Current standardized pricing tables as well as archived tables from past months can be found online at ontario.ca/predation.

Determining Weaned and Not Weaned Livestock Values

For Weaned Beef and Dairy Calves

Compensation is determined using the indicated weight and standardized FMV.

For Young Calves (not weaned)

Beef heifers are assumed to weigh 530 pounds and beef steers or bulls are assumed to weigh 560 pounds at weaning age. Newborn calves and calves up to one month of age are to be compensated at 75 per cent of weaning value using the "500 lbs to 599 lbs" pricing category in the standardized pricing tables and the weaning weight as the reference weight. The value increases by five per cent a month and reaches full value in the 6th month of age. The following table shows the percent of full value for each month of age. If the sex of the calf is unknown, it will be valued as a heifer calf.

Age of Calf Discount Multiplier (%)
0-1 Month
75
2nd Month
80
3rd Month
85
4th Month
90
5th Month
95
6th Month
100
For Weaned Lambs and Kids

Compensation is determined using the indicated weight and standardized FMV.

For Young Lambs and Kids (not weaned)

Lambs are assumed to weigh 80 pounds at weaning age. Newborn lambs are to be compensated at 45 per cent of the "Lambs (80 lbs - 94 lbs) FMV using the weaning weight as a reference weight. The value increases by five per cent a week and reaches full value in the 12th week of age. Newborn kid goats are to be compensated at 45 per cent of the "Goat-Kids (< 7 months)" FMV with the value increasing by 5 per cent a week, reaching full value in the 12th week of age. The following table shows the per cent of full value for each week of age.

Age of Lamb or Goat Kid Percentage of Full Value
1st week
45
2nd week
50
3rd week
55
4th week
60
5th week
65
6th week
70
7th week
75
8th week
80
9th week
85
10th week
90
11th week
95
12th week
100
Other Livestock

Alpaca, Bison, Deer, Donkey, Elk, Horse, Llama, Mule, and Ostrich will have a pro-rated compensation assigned in the first year of life. Young animals in their first month of life will be compensated at 45% of the corresponding FMV and will increase 5% per month until reaching full value in their 12th month of life. The following table shows the percent of full value for each month of age. Emu, Fisher, Marten, Mink, Rabbits, Raccoons and Rheas are excluded from the pro-rated calculations.

Age of Animal
Percentage of Full Value
1st month 45
2nd month 50
3rd month 55
4th month 60
5th month 65
6th month 70
7th month 75
8th month 80
9th month 85
10th month 90
11th month 95
12th month 100

Premiums

The program will pay premiums for agricultural livestock and poultry only when the required documentation can be provided by the owner. Premiums are calculated using an evidence-based approach with industry-recognized market data.

Registered Cattle, Sheep and Goats

Cattle

Registered purebred cattle will be compensated at one-and-a-half times the FMV set out in the standardized valuation tables, up to the maximum compensation value for registered cattle (Maximum Compensation Values in these program guidelines).

Required Documentation: The owner must provide registered purebred documentation and evidence of an ID tag or tattoo that matches the registered purebred documentation for the predated animal. Parental registration documents will be accepted if additional documentation is provided demonstrating a genetic link between the predated calf and the registered parents.

Sheep and Goats

Registered purebred sheep and goats will be compensated at two times the FMV set out in standardized valuation tables, up to the maximum compensation value for registered sheep and goats (see Maximum Compensation Values in these program guidelines).

Required Documentation: The owner must provide registered purebred documentation and evidence of an ID tag or tattoo that matches the registered purebred documentation for the predated animal. Parental registration documents will be accepted if additional documentation is provided demonstrating a genetic link between the predated lamb or kid and the registered parents.

Pregnant Cattle, Sheep and Goats and Alternative Livestock

Cattle

Pregnant cattle will be compensated at one-and-a-half times the FMV set out in standardized valuation tables, up to the maximum compensation value for unregistered cattle (see section Maximum Compensation Values in these program guidelines). For the purposes of the program, pregnant heifers will be valued as pregnant cows.

Required Documentation: The owner must provide an ultrasound report or breeding records for the predated animal. The submitted records must contain the following information to be eligible:

  • ID (animal or group)
  • Insemination date (if applicable)
  • Date exposed to bull
  • Estimated calving date
  • Confirmation of pregnancy date

Sheep and Goats

Pregnant ewes and nanny goats will be compensated at one-and-a-half times the FMV set out in standardized valuation tables up to the maximum compensation value for unregistered sheep or goats (see section Maximum Compensation Values in these program guidelines). For the purposes of the program, pregnant ewe lambs will be valued as pregnant ewes and pregnant kids will be valued as pregnant nanny goats.

Required Documentation: The owner must provide an ultrasound report or breeding records for the predated animal. Submitted records must contain the following information to be eligible:

  • ID (animal or group)
  • Number of ewes or does (if applicable)
  • Ram or buck ID (animal or group)
  • Dates rams or bucks went in and came out
  • Estimated lambing or kidding date

Breeding Poultry

Breeding stock values are factored into standardized valuation tables found at ontario.ca/predation.

Required Documentation: The owner must provide sales receipts demonstrating the majority of the flock was sold to breeders and proof of pedigree from a breeder company to support grandparent, great-grandparent, foundation and pedigree stock claims.

Other Livestock

Pregnant Alpaca, Bison, Deer, Donkey, Elk, Fisher, Fox, Horse, Llama, Lynx, Marten, Mink, Raccoon and Rhea will be compensated at one-and-a-half times the FMV set out in standardized valuation tables, up to the maximum compensation value for the species (see section Maximum Compensation Values in these program guidelines). For added clarity, Ostrich, Emu, Rhea, Mule, and Rabbits are not eligible for pregnancy premiums

Required Documentation: The owner must provide an ultrasound report or breeding records for the predated animal. Submitted records must contain the following information to be eligible:

  • ID (animal or group)
  • Number of females (if applicable)
  • Sire ID (animal or group)
  • Dates sires went in and came out
  • Estimated birthing date

Ineligible Premium Claims

Flock damage or any other premiums not specified in these program guidelines are not eligible for compensation under the program.

Receiving Payment

  • OMAFRA will provide a written decision letter to the owner notifying him or her of the application assessment results including any compensation value assigned.
  • If the assessment is not appealed, the municipality will receive notification of the assigned compensation value 20 business days after the date of the original decision letter.
  • The municipality will then begin the process of releasing payment to the owner. OMAFRA will reimburse the municipality for the assigned compensation value indicated in the notification letter.
  • An administrative allowance of $30 per application will also be provided by OMAFRA to municipalities to assist with application processing costs. Payments to beekeepers and those in a territory without a municipal organization will come directly from OMAFRA.
  • If requested by the local municipality or OMAFRA, owners must provide either a Canada Revenue Agency business number or a Social Insurance Number (SIN) before compensation can be issued.

Compensation payable under the program is taxable income.

  • Municipalities/OMAFRA are required to complete and issue a Statement of Farm Support Payment (AGR-1 form) at the end of a given calendar year to all owners who received compensation, in compliance with CRA requirements.
  • Municipalities/OMAFRA must submit the AGR-1SUM Return of Farm-Support Payment to the CRA.

Appeals

OMAFRA will provide written notification to the owner and the municipality of the application assessment results, including any compensation value assigned. If an owner does not agree with the written results of his or her assessed application, he or she may submit a written request for an appeal. An appeal request must be received by the Director within 20 business days of the date indicated on the decision letter. A fee of $25, in the form of a cheque or money order payable to "Minister of Finance," is also required to process the appeal request; however, the fee will be refunded if the Director determines that the appeal is ineligible or where the director makes a decision that favours the owner's position.

How to Request an Review of the Decision

Send a letter to:

Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Attention: OWDCP Director
1 Stone Road West, 4th floor NW
Guelph, ON N1G 4Y2

Important
  • Review your decision letter to confirm that your application is eligible for appeal.
  • Identify the application by the application number contained in the decision letter and the date of the letter contained therein.
  • Indicate that you wish to appeal the outcome of the application.
  • Indicate in the letter the area of the decision that is being appealed in compliance with the "Appeal Parameters" set out below.
  • Provide any additional evidence to substantiate the reason(s) for requesting a review.
  • Include the $25 fee payable to "Minister of Finance" (cheque or money order).
Appeal Process
  • The Director will determine whether the application is eligible for review within five business days.
    • Files not eligible for appeal will have the $25 fee returned. If the Director determines the Applicant's appeal is ineligible, the Director will notify the Applicant within five Business Days of making the decision.
  • If eligible for appeal, the Director will send the application and related documents to a member of a specialized roster under the Business Risk Management Review Committee (BRMRC) and the Chair of the BRMRC within three business days.
  • The BRMRC specialized roster member will complete their review and send a non-binding recommendation to the program director and the BRMRC Chair within seven business days.
  • If the Director does not agree with the recommendation of the BRMRC member, he or she will provide reasons to the BRMRC member and afford the member an opportunity to reconsider.
  • The BRMRC member will affirm or amend the recommendation within seven business days.
  • The Director will review the BRMRC recommendation and, if applicable, reconsideration and make a final decision within fifteen business days.
  • The Director will notify the applicant of the BRMRC recommendation and, if applicable, reconsideration as well as his or her final decision within three business days of the decision.
    • If the final decision favours the owner's position, the $25 fee will be refunded to the applicant.
Appeal Parameters
  • Reviews are limited to sufficient evidence, incorrect information, reasonable care, and application for a premium (where allowable).
  • The scope of review is limited to the specific issue(s) brought forward by the applicant.
  • Applications deemed "Ineligible" cannot be appealed since an initial assessment was not completed (i.e., the applicant does not provide information such as an FBR number, no photos provided, missing information on the form, etc.).
  • Appeal decisions made by the Director are final.
  • The Administrator or Director may extend the timeframes if there is a compelling reason to do so.
    • The applicant will be notified if deadlines are extended by more than five days.

Reasonable Care

As an eligibility requirement, owners must have implemented reasonable care measures to prevent predation on the property where the kill/injury occurred. Owners must be capable of identifying all investments, retained services and farm management practices that have been employed over time to mitigate predation. If consistent predation is occurring, a scalable prevention plan should be implemented. Owners must also be in compliance with all dead livestock disposal regulations.

  • A reasonable care plan is required for owners who have already submitted five applications in a given calendar year (January 1 to December 31).
  • This plan requires owners to identify all implemented and planned investments, services retained and farm management practices employed to mitigate predation on their farm premises (or multiple premises).
  • Owners must employ or plan to employ predation prevention measures that are reasonably in proportion to the predation they have experienced.
  • Planned reasonable care measures, which have been indicated on a reasonable care plan, must be implemented by the owner within a practical period of time.
  • Alternatively, a biosecurity plan may be submitted in the place of a reasonable care plan, so long as it incorporates a predator entry control component.

All reasonable care plans (or biosecurity plans) are reviewed and assessed by OMAFRA. Where a plan is required, all applications will be deemed ineligible until the requested plan is submitted and reviewed.

The completed reasonable care plan (or biosecurity plan) should be sent directly to the program administrator by email (wildlife.damage@ontario.ca) or by mail:

Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Attention: Program Administrator, OWDCP
Rural Programs Branch
1 Stone Road West, 4th Floor NW
Guelph, ON N1G 4Y2

OMAFRA will send a reasonable care plan template to owners at the time a fifth application is processed. The template is also available at ontario.ca/predation.

Enforcement of Animal Cruelty Laws

In circumstances where OMAFRA is concerned with the well-being of farm animals, the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) may be contacted. Empowered by the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, inspectors and agents of the OSPCA relieve animal suffering and distress by issuing orders, removing animals and laying charges under the Criminal Code of Canada and the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act where circumstances warrant. Under the act, inspectors and agents have the same authority as police officers when enforcing animal cruelty laws.

Ontario Farm Animal Care Helpline Services: This helpline can provide assistance to farmers (of beef cattle, dairy cattle, pigs, rabbits, chickens and turkeys) who are unwilling or unable to maintain acceptable conditions for their farm animals (or if you are a farmer experiencing difficulties) and concerns will be relayed to the appropriate group. The phone number is 519-837-1326. More information can be found online at Farm and Food Care Ontario.

Maximum Compensation Values

Species
Maximum Amount ($) Per Unit
Alpaca
8,000
Bison bull, one year and older
4,000
Bison, all other
2,500
Cattle, registered
8,000
Cattle, non-registered
4,000
Deer Buck, one year and older
8,000
Deer, all other
4,000
Donkey
5,000
Elk Bull, one year and older
8,000
Elk, all other
4,000
Emu
500
Fox
1,500
Fisher
250
Goat, non-registered
600
Goat, registered
1,000
Horse
8,000
Llama
8,000
Lynx
2,000
Marten
250
Mink
150
Mule
5,000
Ostrich
3,000
Rabbit Breeders, for meat production
40
Rabbit, all other
30
Raccoon
75
Rhea
1,500
Sheep, registered
1,200
Sheep, non-registered
500
Swine, registered
5,000
Swine, non-registered
2,000

Species
Maximum Amount ($)
Chicken, for egg production
30
Chicken, parent breeder for egg production
60
Chicken, parent breeder for meat production
60
Chicken, grandparent breeder for egg production
120
Chicken, grandparent breeder for meat production
100
Chicken, all other
20
Chicken, primary breeder foundation stock
1,200
Goose, for meat production
40
Goose, parent breeder
100
Goose, grandparent breeder
300
Turkey, for meat production
70
Turkey, parent breeder
250
Turkey, grandparent breeder
700
Turkey, primary breeder foundation stock
1,050
Duck, for meat production
28
Duck, for egg production
60
Duck, parent breeder
85
Duck, grandparent breeder
250
Bobwhite, northern
500
Grouse, ruffed
500
Grouse, sharp-tailed
500
Grouse, spruce
500
Partridge, gray (Hungarian)
500
Pheasant, ring-necked
500
Ptarmigan, rock
500
Ptarmigan, willow
500
Turkey, wild
500

These species are game birds pursuant to a licence under Schedule 3 of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1997.

Determining Beehive, Bee Colony and Beehive-related Equipment Values

The bee investigator will determine the FMV of damaged beehive, bee colony or beehive-related equipment and use that to calculate the value of a claim under this program.

The maximum compensation for a bee colony is $250.

The maximum compensation for beehive-related equipment is $100.

Program Definitions

Note that the definitions below appear in upper and lower case throughout the document.

"Beehive" means the habitation or dwelling place constructed for a bee colony.

"Bee colony" means a colony of bees maintained for the production of honey.

"Beehive-related equipment" means equipment normally associated with operating a beehive.

"Bee investigator" means a person or persons appointed by the Minister to act as an investigator for the purposes of determining damage to beehives, bee colonies and/or beehive-related equipment under the program.

"Biosecurity plan" means documented management strategies developed to prevent the entry and spread of disease.

"BRMRC" means the Business Risk Management Review Committee, as continued by Order-In-Council 1460/2018

"Business day" means any working day, Monday to Friday inclusive, but excluding statutory and other holidays on which the Government of Ontario has elected to be closed for business.

"Damage" means the partial destruction of beehive-related equipment and construction materials normally associated with operating a beehive.

"Director" means an individual appointed by the minister to hear appeals under the program.

"Fair market value" or "FMV" means the average value an owner might receive for an animal with specific characteristics, such as age and weight. In most cases this will be represented by the standardized compensation rates provided by OMAFRA.

"Farm Business Registration Number" or "FBRN" means the registration number that farm operations with a gross farm income of $7,000 or more are required to acquire under the Farm Registration and Farm Organizations Funding Act.

"Injured" in respect to livestock or poultry means physically wounded.

"Injury" has a corresponding meaning to injured.

"Livestock" includes mammals kept or raised on a farm for agricultural purposes and that are designated by the minister in section Eligible Livestock Species of these program guidelines.

"Minister" means the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs or such other minister who may be designated from time to time as the responsible minister in relation to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Act or the program, as the case may be, in accordance with the Executive Council Act or any other act of the Ontario legislature that allows another minister to be designated as the responsible minister, unless the context indicates otherwise.

"Ministry" means the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs or such other ministry that has been designated as being responsible for this program, unless the context indicates otherwise.

"Municipal investigator" means a person or persons appointed by a municipality to investigate injury or death to livestock and/or poultry caused by wildlife as set out in section 7(6) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Act.

"OIC" means the Order in Council 502/2016, as amended.

"Owner" means a person who owns the livestock and/or poultry that has been injured or killed as a result of wildlife or whose beehives, bee colonies and/or beehive-related equipment has been damaged as a result of wildlife; they are the applicant to the program, and the person to whom a taxable income receipt is issued.

"Ontario Regulation 106/09" means Ontario Regulation 106/09 - Disposal of Dead Farm Animals, as amended, made under the Nutrient Management Act, 2002, S.O. 2002, c. 4, as amended.

"Person" for the purposes of this program guideline includes an individual, sole proprietor, corporation, partnership and unincorporated association.

"Plan" means a reasonable care plan.

"Poultry" includes domesticated fowl kept or raised on a farm for agricultural purposes and that are designated by the minister in the section Eligible Livestock Species of these program guidelines.

"Premises identification" means the assignment of one unique premises identification number based on national standards to a single land parcel that has been registered, characterized and validated.

"Program administrator" means an individual appointed by the minister for the purposes of administering the program.

"Program" means the Ontario Wildlife Damage Compensation Program.

"Program guidelines" means any written documents setting out the criteria governing the operation of the program and posted to the ministry's website.

"Reasonable care" means predation prevention measures, which align with livestock, poultry or honey bee industry best management practices, have been implemented by the producer on the property where predation occurred.

"Registered livestock" means livestock that are registered with the appropriate breeding association for that species of livestock.

"Sufficient evidence" means evidence which allows the municipal investigator and the program administrator to determine that a predator was the primary cause of death/injury to healthy livestock and that the predator involved is eligible under the program guidelines. Photographic evidence of each carcass is required.

"Territory without municipal organization investigator" means a person or persons appointed by the minister to act as investigator for territories without municipal organization for the purposes of this program.

"Wildlife" means undomesticated animals as designated by the Minister as outlined in the section Eligible Wildlife Species within these program guidelines.

Appendices

Appendix A - Steps to Take If You Suspect Your Livestock or Poultry are Injured or Killed by Wildlife

  • Notify your local municipality within 48 hours of discovering the injury or death of your livestock or poultry. If you are located in a territory without a municipal organization, call OMAFRA at 1-877-424-1300 to contact the territorial investigator.
  • Seek veterinary care: If an animal sustained an injury, immediately seek veterinary care or other humane treatment options including euthanasia to prevent further suffering. Veterinary care costs are eligible under this program up to the FMV of the livestock. All receipts and invoices should be saved and submitted with the application.
  • Preserve the injury/kill site: Do not move, destroy or dispose of the carcass(es) or injury/kill-site evidence until the municipal or territorial investigator has investigated and agrees it/they can be destroyed or disposed of. An exception will be made if this contravenes Ontario Regulation 106/09 of the Nutrient Management Act, 2002.
  • Suggested methods of preserving the site include avoid walking in or around the area, placing a tarp over the carcass(es), or adding lime around the site.
  • It is recommended that owners take photos of the scene as well as document damages to the killed/injured livestock or poultry upon discovery.
  • As part of the application process, the following information will be required to complete a claim:
    • A valid FBRN within the current or previous calendar year, approved documentation confirming an FBRN exemption, or a confirmation letter provided by the Indian Agricultural Program of Ontario (IAPO).
    • A valid premises identification (PID) number for the site where the kill or damage occurred or a confirmation letter provided by the Indian Agriculture Program of Ontario (IAPO).
    • A Canada Revenue Agency business number. Compensation received under the program is considered taxable income by Canada Revenue Agency. The municipality (or OMAFRA in territories without municipal organization) will issue Statement of Farm Support Payments (AGR1) for income tax purposes.
      • Applicants without a CRA Number need to provide their Social Insurance Number to the Municipality and/or OMAFRA when requested.
    • Owner signature on the application certifying the information provided is true and accurate to the best of his or her knowledge.
    • Indicate on the application whether you wish to provide additional evidence and/or documentation.

Appendix B - Steps to Take If You Suspect Your Bee Colonies, Beehives and/or Beehive-related Equipment Have Been Damaged By Wildlife

  • Notify either OMAFRA (1-877-424-1300) or the bee investigator within two business days of discovering the damage to beehive, bee colony or beehive-related equipment.
  • Preserve the site: Do not move, destroy or dispose of the beehive, bee colonies or beehive-related equipment until the bee investigator has seen the evidence and agrees it can be destroyed or disposed of.
    • Suggested methods of preserving the site include avoid walking in or around the area, placing a tarp over the damaged equipment.
  • Take photos of the scene as well as damages to beehives.
  • As part of the application process, the following information will be required:
    • A valid beekeeper ID registered under the Bees Act.
    • A Canada Revenue Agency business number. Compensation received under the program is considered taxable income by Canada Revenue Agency. OMAFRA will issue Statement of Farm Support Payments (AGR1) for income tax purposes.
      • Applicants without a CRA Number need to provide their Social Insurance Number to the Municipality and/or OMAFRA when requested.
    • Owner signature on the application certifying the information provided is true and accurate to the best of his or her knowledge.
  • Indicate if you will be submitting additional evidence relevant to the application assessment and valuation process.

For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
E-mail: ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca
Author: OMAFRA Staff
Creation Date: 01 October 2018
Last Reviewed: 28 January 2019