Ontario's Wildlife Damage
A Guide for Livestock and Poultry Owners
The Ontario Wildlife Damage Compensation Program (OWDCP) provides
compensation to eligible producers whose livestock and/or poultry
have been injured or killed as a result of wildlife predation or
whose bee colonies, beehives and/or beehive-related equipment has
been damaged as a result of wildlife predation.
Can I Apply For The Program?
In order to be eligible for the program, you must:
- Have a valid Farm Business Registration (FBRN) in the current
or the previous calendar year or a valid FBRN exemption (religious,
gross farm income or cultural exemption for Indigenous producers).
- Have a valid Ontario Premises
Identification (PID) number for the farm property where the
damage or kill occurred.
If you do not have either of these numbers and do not have a FBRN
exemption, your application will come back as 'ineligible' OMAFRA
staff will reach out to you to provide the missing required information
in order to process the application.
What Should I Do If I Find Injured/Killed Livestock?
Step 1. Ensure animal well-being
- Immediately seek veterinary care or other treatment to prevent
further suffering if an animal sustains an injury. If the animal
is severely injured due to an attack, it should be euthanized,
according to the species specific Code of Practice, to prevent
further suffering before the investigator arrives.
- Veterinary care costs are eligible under this program up to
the Fair Market Value of the livestock. Costs related to a producer's
on-farm "inventory" of medications do count as an eligible
expense. In this case, proof is required that a vet directed the
drug use as a treatment for the injury as well as a receipt for
the medication purchase.
- All veterinary or medication receipts and invoices should be
saved and submitted with the application.
- If the animal is injured or dead notify the municipality (see
step 2 below).
Step 2. Notify
- Notify the municipality within 48 hours of discovering the injury
or death of livestock or poultry due to predation. If the injury
or death of livestock or poultry occurs in a territory without
municipal organization, the owner must notify OMAFRA (1-877-424-1300).
Step 3. Preserve the Site
- Preserve the carcass(es) and kill/injury site until the municipal
investigator has arrived on site. In order to preserve the carcass(es)
and the site it is strongly recommended that the livestock owner:
- Take as many photos as possible to show that the animal(s)
were predated. Take at least two colour photos of the injuries
and/or wounds sustained, one close up photo of the injuries
and one photo of the entire animal. Another photo showing
the location where the carcass was found is recommended as
well as photos of any other evidence such as predator tracks,
scat, predator damage due to fencing, etc. These photos can
be submitted as additional evidence and will be included as
owner-supplied photos. These will be used in the review process
as long as the pictures align with the evidence gathered by
the municipal investigator.
- Example photos can be found in Figure 1 - 3.
If the animals have sustained injuries and have received veterinary
care, take photos of the injuries, the site where the injuries occurred
(for example, blood, signs of a struggle, tracks, scat, etc.).
Suggested methods of preserving the site include: avoid walking
in or around the area, placing a tarp over the carcass(es), adding
lime to the site, etc.
Figure 1. A picture of wounds sustained.
Figure 2. A wide angle picture of location.
Figure 3. A picture of the kill site and animal.
Step 4. Prepare Documentation
Retrieve the following required information to have ready for
the municipal investigator:
Photos as described above.
Prepare any relevant documentation that will be accepted as additional
evidence. This may include: additional photos, purebred documentation
(e.g. Certificate of Registration), breeding records such as breeding
dates or pregnancy scanning reports or veterinary reports/invoices.
- A valid Farm Business Registration Number (FBRN) or valid
- A valid Premises Identification (PID) Number for the farm
property where the damage or kill occurred.
Step 5. Complete & Sign
- When the municipal investigator arrives, provide as much relevant
information as possible and complete the first page of the application
form requesting contact information, FBRN and PID.
- After the municipal investigator has collected and documented
evidence, carefully review the application form for level of detail.
The more detailed the descriptions in the application the better.
- If you plan on submitting additional evidence, check the box
indicating this and provide all relevant documentation within
- Once you are satisfied that the form is complete and accurate,
sign the application form. The form must be signed by the owner
to attest that the evidence provided is correct. Failure to sign
may result in delays in application processing or it being deemed
ineligible for processing.
Step 6. Disposal of the Carcass(es)
- The owner is required to dispose of the carcass(es) within seven
(7) business days under Food Safety Quality Act (FSQA) - Ontario
Regulation 105/09 and the Nutrient Management Act (NMA)
- Ontario Regulation 106/09, even if the municipal investigator
has not yet visited the site. In this case the owner must collect
all relevant evidence to demonstrate that predation occurred in
order to apply to the program.
- Once the investigation has been completed, all dead livestock/poultry
must be disposed of in a manner that is in compliance with Ontario
Regulation 106/09 - Disposal
of Dead Farm Animals, under the Nutrient Management
Act, 2002, S.O. 2002, c. 4.
What Can I Expect From The Municipal Investigator?
- The investigator will visit your premises to perform a detailed
investigation within 72 hours of you contacting the municipality.
- The investigator will collect data required to satisfy eligibility
requirements such as Farm Business Registration Number (FBRN)
and Premises Identification (PID) number.
- The investigator will focus on collecting evidence of a predation
incident occurring by an eligible predator.
- Presence of the injured animal or carcass is required in order
to be eligible for compensation.
- The investigator will be looking for evidence of predation including:
- Evidence the animal was alive prior to the attack.
- Evidence that the livestock/poultry bled from the attack.
- Signs of tissue damage (bruising) under the lacerations
and puncture wounds.
- Signs of a struggle, drag marks, broken vegetation and/or
blood around the site.
- Other evidence such as predator tracks, scat, herd/flock
behaviour, predator damage to fencing, etc.
- The investigator will also be recording that reasonable care
measures have been taken by the livestock/poultry owner.
- All information collected should be documented by the investigator
in the application form in a detailed manner.
- As the livestock/poultry owner you can submit additional evidence
to the investigator.
What Happens After My Application Is Submitted?
- Your local municipality will review the application for completeness.
- The municipality will send your application to Ontario Ministry
of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA).
- OMAFRA will assess the application and determine:
- If basic eligibility requirements have been met
- If there is sufficient evidence to support predation as
the cause of death
- If reasonable care has been employed
- Value of compensation being assigned
- Premiums will not be considered if supporting documentation
is not provided.
- The Ministry will provide you with a letter indicating the value
assigned to your application. Refer to the section of the
OMAFRA predation page (ontario.ca/predation)
to see how Fair Market Value (FMV) and premium pricing is calculated
on a monthly basis by OMAFRA.
- You will have twenty (20) business days; from the date the letter
was issued, to appeal the decision.
- If you do not request an appeal, the Ministry will begin the
process of transferring the assigned funds.
- You will receive compensation through your municipality or,
if you reside in an unorganized territory, directly to the address
provided on your application.
Am I Demonstrating Reasonable Care?
- Owners should employ recommended predation prevention practices
outlined in Ministry and industry resources.
- Some recommended practices include:
- Livestock guardian animals
- Routine checks of livestock
- Night time enclosures; which may not be possible or feasible
for large flocks and herds
- Moving livestock & poultry to less vulnerable areas
(i.e. young lambs/calves); this may not be possible for large
- Deterrents such as lights, noise, or visual
Refer to "reasonable care" section of the Program Guidelines
or the general OMAFRA Predation page (ontario.ca/predation)
for further details.
For more information please refer to the complete program guidelines
available at: ontario.ca/predation.
For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300