Central Manitoulin carrying out research for coyotes/wolf bounty

MINDEMOYA—With an increase in farmers’ livestock being taken by coyotes/wolves, Central Manitoulin Township is researching the possibility of reinstating a wolf bounty-livestock predator control program.

“This arose out of our expenditure report and the number of payments that have been made to farmers for livestock kills this year having increased,” said Richard Stephens, mayor of Central Manitoulin at a council meeting last week.

It was noted by municipal clerk Ruth Frawley that the current process of a farmer applying for compensation for a livestock kill is submitted to the Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). “We’re reimbursed for that. The municipality will see more costs if we create a compensation program because there are more livestock kill occurrences being reported.”

“I know from hearing from local farmers there have been a lot more livestock kills,” said Councillor Derek Stephens. “Municipalities on the West End of the Island (Burpee-Mills and Gordon/Barrie Island) created a new livestock kill control program. I know the numbers are way up. I definitely think we need to look at the bounty again. Farmers have been telling me there have been a lot more (livestock) kills.”

“I hear the same thing,” said Mayor Stephens.

Councillor Dale Scott said, “timber wolves are not the problem. It’s the coyotes that are. Who is going to carry out the research?

“Municipalities on the West End of the Island have programs in place, so this should be straight forward,” said Ms. Frawley.

Mayor Stephens suggested the municipality could look at what municipalities on the West End of the Island have done and Central Manitoulin could follow suit.

Council passed a motion on a recommendation from its health and safety committee that further research into the possibility of the bounty, or predator control program, be reinstated, as the budget shows an increase in occurrences.”

Councils for the municipalities of Gordon/Barrie Island and Burpee-Mills have both established established a compensation program for farmers whose livestock are killed by coyotes/wolves. The two municipalities set aside so much in their budgets every year for a fund with an amount given to those trappers who legally take coyotes/wolves. Assiginack has also adopted such a program in recent months.