For Immediate Release: December 6, 2017
Queen’s Park — Municipal wildlife investigators feel the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs is closing them out of the province’s predation damage compensation program.
“Minister, the OFA is hearing about these kinds of problems right across Ontario,” local MPP and Agriculture Critic Toby Barrett said in the Ontario Legislature. “As we understand it, one in five claims for predation kills are rejected by your staff. They don’t visit the scent, they’re not on the ground, even though you advocate for evidence-based decision-making. It has left livestock owners out in the cold.”
Barrett directed his questions to Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Minister Jeff Leal and quoted an October 16th letter that stated, “Municipal investigators play a vital role.” However, according to Barrett he is hearing a very different story that in fact investigators are being ignored and farmers feel they aren’t trusted.
“We hear of cases where a lamb or a calf has been carted off by coyotes,” Barrett explained. “There’s no evidence. There’s no blood. There’s no carcass. Will you commit to creating a better system to compensate for predator kills – for example, when a coyote eats the evidence?”
By the end, Barrett received a commitment that the program will be reviewed.
For more information please contact MPP Toby Barrett at 519-428-0446, 905-765-8413 or 1-800-903-8629