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Helping farmers with livestock losses

Helping farmers with livestock losses

Updates to the Ontario Wildlife Damage Compensation Program allow producers to focus on rebuilding their herds

Staff Writer
Farmers facing livestock losses can benefit from an updated Ontario Wildlife Damage Compensation Program.
After hearing that farmers faced challenges with the program, the governments “consulted with the sector to ensure updates we make to the program are meaningful, effective, and work for farmers,” Bianca Jamieson of OMAFRA’s communications branch said to yesterday.
Updates to the program, a Friday OMAFRA release said, include:
“more ways to provide sufficient evidence to prove wildlife predation;
“a more independent and transparent appeal process;
“better training for municipal investigators to assess predation; and,
“compensation that better reflects market prices.”
The revised program will allow Ontario producers to better manage the effects of livestock losses, said Lawrence MacAulay, federal minister of agriculture and agri-food.
“By reducing their burden and saving them time, (these changes) will allow (producers) to focus on rebuilding their herds and farms," he said in the release.
The Ontario Wildlife Damage Compensation Program provides financial compensation for farmers who have lost livestock to wildlife predation. The program also assists producers “whose bee colonies, beehives or beehive-related equipment have been damaged by wildlife,” the OMAFRA website said.
Program changes took effect on Feb. 1 and are not retroactive.
These changes build on two key program updates implemented in September, Jamieson said.
 “We updated the Farm Business Registration Number requirement to allow applicants to apply to the program if they have a valid number in the current or previous calendar year or have a valid exemption. We (also) updated standardized pricing methodology to provide separate pricing for steers and heifers, with the intent of providing compensation in closer alignment with market prices,” she said.
The program is part of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. For more information, click here
Updated Feb. 6, 2019.
AlexPapp/iStock/Getty Images Plus photo


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