Wellesley engages livestock valuers
With mixed feelings, Wellesley Township this week took on a pair of livestock valuers, Darryl Green and Claude Hergott, who’ll respond to cases where farm animals have been attacked by their wild counterparts.
The Ontario Wildlife Damage Compensation Program provides full compensation for the value of loss to livestock, poultry and honeybee producers in the chance that animals are killed or injured by wildlife. The roll of the livestock valuer is to investigate claims of such happenings by determining if the injury or death was in fact the result of a wild animal.
Since 2014 there have been only two compensation claims – both in 2016 – processed in the township, totaling $710. However, not all claims result in compensation.
Both councillors Shelley Wagner and Herb Neher raised concerns about the cost of filling the positions.
In addition to the hourly wage of $20.90 when called in, the valuers will receive a $100 annual retainer for their service.
“Will they be taking any type of course?” asked Wagner. “They get a good chunk of money for looking at a cow that’s been eaten by an animal.”
To that, chief administrative officer Rik Louwagie explained that although there is no required training, the individuals were chosen for their vast knowledge of both livestock and wildlife.
“As far as being a lot of money going out to the call, many people wouldn’t want to go to these calls. It’s not necessarily the most pleasant thing you’re seeing when you go,” he said, citing his own experience at such calls. “We do know that adding the retainer is new and the reason we did that was that finding people who actually want to do this job is very difficult. Woolwich had the same issue.”
“I don’t know why we pay somebody $100 to do nothing – that kind of thing I don’t like,” said Neher, pointing to the lack of calls most years.