Predation by wildlife is a year-round problem in rural Ontario with two peak periods in spring and late summer. OMAFRA has developed the Wildlife Damage Compensation Program to help farmers who lose livestock due to wild animals killing or injuring their stock. This resource offers training materials and suggestions for farmers to help discourage wildlife from attacking.
Recently a farmer from northern Ontario demonstrated the effectiveness of a couple of these methods. There was an incident in which a pack of large grey wolves were attacking beef cattle on the farm. The producer had contracted a trapper but the attacks continued. The farmer called an OMAFRA advisor asking for help. The advisor suggested using a combination of flashing lights and noise to discourage the wolves as demonstrated in the video below.
The farmer attached a pole to a hay wagon. On the top of the pole he attached a light that would blink intermittently along with a radio. Both the light and the radio were powered by solar powered batteries. This wagon is moved every couple of days for maximum efficiency. The noise and light from the wagon have so far proven to be an effective deterrent to the wolf attacks.
No producer wishes to see an animal attacked by wildlife. Using methods to reduce or minimize damage means less claims to government, happier farmers, and safer livestock.
For more information on reducing predation with different strategies such as Fencing and Management, check out the OMAFRA resource on Preventing Losses to Predators: http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/livestock/predation.htm#prevent
Ontario Sheep is hosting a free online webinar on Raven Predation in Ontario & Next Steps on April 22nd at 12:00 pm EST. The webinar will discuss statistics regarding raven predation, sheep producer survey data collected, as well as results from the 2019 on-farm non-lethal deterrent trials. To register visit: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/6567119475872494094
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