Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, released the following statement on the evaluation of the Wildlife Damage Compensation Program:
"Our government knows that farmers do their best to protect their livestock from wildlife predation, however, losses still do occur - and that's why we provide support to help offset those losses through the Wildlife Damage Compensation Program. I've been in farmers' fields and have seen first-hand the damage that predators have done to their livestock.
To ensure that the program works in the best interests of producers, our government made updates in January 2017 following a third-party review and consultations with a dozen partners from across the agri-food value chain. These updates are aligned with the recommendations made in the review, feedback received and are evidence-based.
As with all government programs, we want to ensure they are directly benefitting those who rely on them the most.
When I'm driving on back concessions and sitting around kitchen tables enjoying a cup of coffee with a farmer or sitting down with our municipal leaders, I'm always listening. I want you to know that I have heard your concerns about the updated program. That's why my ministry will be working with our partners in the coming months to examine the program to ensure farmers are being fairly compensated for their losses.
I look forward to reviewing the feedback received as a result of the evaluation and, based on those discussions, changes to the program will be considered.
Our nearly 50,000 family farms across this province work hard and our government is committed to supporting them."
Source : OMAFRA