Resolution 2-19: Wildlife Predator Compensation Program Enhancement

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT ALBERTA’S AGRICULTURAL SERVICE BOARDS REQUEST that the Ministers of Environment and Parks, Justice and Solicitor General, and all other relevant government ministries implement an enhanced Predator Compensation Program that could utilize the GPS location and date time features and photo capabilities of smart phone technology to provide photographic or video evidence to assist in the confirmation of livestock death and livestock injury in a timely and prompt manner, and reduce the number of physical site investigations Fish and Wildlife Officers must conduct.

Response:

ALBERTA AGRICULTURE AND FORESTRY

Through the Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC), Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (AF) is responsible only for Wildlife Damage Compensation Program and not for the Wildlife Predator Compensation Program; therefore, neither AFSC nor AF is in a position to provide response to Resolution 2-19.

The Wildlife Predator Compensation Program is administered by the Alberta Environment and Parks (AEPs) Fish and Wildlife section, and we will defer to them for response.

ALBERTA ENVIRONMENT AND PARKS

The Wildlife Predator Compensation Program accepts electronic photos from producers as supplementary evidence in determining eligibility of compensation claims. Such photos are particularly valuable in cases where key evidence may be lost if not immediately recorded (weather, scavenging, etc.). The protocol for this program is to initiate investigations within 24 hours of notification of a livestock loss due to predation. Only on rare occasions do response times exceed this protocol, and measures are taken to ensure such delayed responses do not affect decisions about compensation.

Environment and Parks staff evaluate the field investigative response times for the Wildlife Predator Compensation Program on an annual basis, and adjust the program by stationing seasonal problem wildlife technicians in municipalities with the highest incidence of predation. To continue to support producers, in 2018, department staff enhanced the “Ranchers Guide to Predator Attacks” and included additional tools to focus producers on collecting the types of evidence most useful to investigators. Municipalities can order copies of this publication from the department Information Centre by contacting aep.info-centre@gov.ab.ca.

The department is reviewing several initiatives to reduce livestock losses to predators, including evaluation of proposed program timelines, costs and potential opportunities for stakeholder partnerships.

Mark Heckbert, Provincial Wildlife Conflict Specialist, would be pleased to meet with the ASB Provincial Committee to further discuss any issues regarding the Wildlife Predator Compensation Program. You can reach Mark Heckbert at mark.heckbert@gov.ab.ca or at 780-523-6517 (dial 310-0000 for a toll-free connection to any Government of Alberta number).

ALBERTA JUSTICE AND SOLICITOR GENERAL

Thank you for your inquiry below with respect to an outstanding response to the Provincial Agricultural Service Board Committee’s resolution: 2-19: Wildlife Predator Compensation Program Enhancement.

Upon review of resolution 2-19, it was determined that Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) was the more appropriate ministry to respond, given the Wildlife Predator Compensation Program falls under the jurisdiction of that ministry.  I am pleased to advise that the ministry of Alberta Justice and Solicitor General did provide AEP with input into their response, prior to the spring provincial election held on Tuesday, April 16, 2019.

For further updates, please feel free to contact the Deputy Minister’s Office of Alberta Environment and Parks.

UPDATE AUGUST 10, 2021

Work on this resolution is on going. A program review is currently underway, and the ASBs are encouraged to provide feedback. The ASBPC is reaching out to the program manager to set up a meeting and discuss the issue and how it is being addressed.