Welles­ley en­gages live­stock val­uers

The Woolwich Observer - - NEWS -

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.

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