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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Ontario Wildlife Damage Compensation Program

OMAFRA has released its Ontario Wildlife Damage Compensation Program Guidelines as part of the joint Federal-Provincial Growing Forward program.  The program provides for compensation for damage to livestock and poultry by "wildlife", which is defined as "undomesticated animals as designated by the Minister in Schedule "D" in this Program Guideline".  The list includes coyotes, wolves, bears, foxes, cougars, eagles, crows, turkey vultures, raccoons, etc.

The program has been introduced through changes to the Livestock, Poultry and Honey Bee Protection Act, which has now been renamed the Protection of Livestock and Poultry from Dogs Act.  Although the Act applies to damage caused to livestock and poultry by wildlife generally, its title refers to dogs specifically because the Act addresses damage caused by dogs in some detail, including certain rights to kill dogs who have caused or threaten to cause damage to livestock or poultry.  The Act also imposes an obligation on the owner of a dog who has killed or injured livestock or poultry to destroy the dog or cause it to be destroyed within 48 hours of acquiring knowledge of the killing or injury.

The changes to the Act were publicized by OMAFRA on the Environmental Bill of Rights Registry and received some 244 comments representing a wide range of points of view, many of which can be viewed at: EBR Comments