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.
OMAFRA maintains its commitment to supporting industry growth and market competitiveness by limiting financial hardship to Ontario producers who have experienced loss or damages due to 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) number 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.
What should I do if I find injured/killed livestock?
- Immediately seek veterinary care or other treatment to prevent further suffering if an animal sustains an injury. Veterinary care costs are eligible under this program up to the Fair Market Value of the livestock. All receipts and invoices should be saved and submitted with the application.
- If the livestock/poultry is deceased, preserve the carcass(es) and kill/injury site until the municipal investigator has seen them and agrees that they can be destroyed or disposed of.
- Taking colour photos of the injuries and/or wounds sustained and the location where the carcass was found is recommended. 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.
- The owner is required to dispose of the carcass(es) after 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, (See www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/livestock/deadstock/index.html).
What can I expect from the municipal investigator?
- The investigator will be on your premises to perform a detailed investigation within 72 hours of 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 to support
- The likelihood that evidence indicates that damages were caused by an eligible predator.
- Presence of the injured animal or carcass.
- 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.
- Reasonable care measures have been taken by the livestock/poultry owner.
- 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 for:
- evidence of predation
- reasonable care
- 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.
- You have twenty (20) business days to appeal the decision.
- If you do not request an appeal of the decision letter, the Ministry will transfer the assigned funds to the municipality.
- You will receive compensation through your municipality.
- Moving livestock & poultry to less vulnerable areas
- Livestock guardian animals
- Notify the municipality within 48 hours of discovering the injury or death of livestock or poultry due to predation, or discovering damage to a beehive, bee colony and/or beehive-related equipment;
- 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).
- Preserve the injury or kill site until the municipal or territorial investigator has seen the carcass(es) 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 carcass(es), adding lime to the site, and taking detailed photos of the scene.
- Immediately seek veterinary care or other treatment to prevent further suffering if an animal sustains an injury.
- Retrieve the following required information and have them ready
for the municipal investigator. They are the following:
- A valid Farm Business Registration Number (FBRN) or valid FBR exemption.
- A valid Premises Identification (PID) Number for the farm property where the damage or kill occurred or, for beehive, bee colony or beehive related equipment damage, have a Beekeeper ID registered under the Bees Act.
- Prepare any relevant documentation that will be accepted as additional evidence. This may include: purebred documentation (e.g. Certificate of Registration), breeding records, veterinary reports, pregnancy scanning data or sales receipts.
- 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 the owner needs to sign the application form to attest the evidence provided is correct.
- If you are submitting additional evidence, check the box indicating this.
What happens after my application is submitted?
Am I demonstrating reasonable care?
Owners should employ recommended predation prevention practices outlined in Ministry and industry resources.
Some recommended practices include:
Refer to "reasonable care" section of the Program Guidelines for further details.
Follow these steps after finding injured/killed livestock and poultry
The owner is responsible for four (4) critical steps to ensure that acceptable evidence is provided to the Ministry and to meet eligibility requirements for the program.
4. Complete & Sign
For more information please refer to the complete program guidelines available at: www.ontario.ca/predation.
For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300