We are looking for Municipal Investigators!
We are looking for experienced individuals to investigate injury or death to livestock and/or poultry caused by wildlife as set out in section 7(6) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Act.
About the Ontario Wildlife Damage Compensation Program
The Ontario Wildlife Damage Compensation Program (Program) provides financial assistance to eligible owners whose: livestock or poultry has been killed as a result of wildlife predation. Information on the Program and Municipal Investigators.
We look for people with these qualifications:
- Able to carry out site investigation within short notice
- Reliable access to a vehicle is a must
- Experience with livestock is considered an asset
- Able to identify signs of predation including but not limited to signs of attack and predator tracks is considered an asset
- Able to speak, read, and write in French is considered an asset
- Working knowledge of computers and computerized applications/systems related to the work performed is preferred
- A full understanding of the Ontario Wildlife Damage Compensation Program is considered an asset
The Municipal Investigator is responsible for:
- Responding to service request(s) within 72 hours of receiving the notification of the Injury or death of livestock or poultry
- Carrying out site investigation and collecting evidence for eligible incidents including three (3) to six (6) colour photos per eligible kill/injury incurred
- Collecting all necessary information to accurately complete the application
- Completing the application form and submiting it to the Rural Affairs Office
How to apply
If you are interested in this role, please send a summary of your experience along with an introduction of yourself and contact information to RuralAffairs@ottawa.ca.
We thank all applicants; however, only those being considered will be contacted.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Rural Affairs Office at RuralAffairs@ottawa.ca.
Dogs and cats
Dogs in rural areas often take on a working role including predator control, livestock guardians and the home security system. Cats can be found in the barn keeping the rodent population under control. Most dogs and cats are also family pets. Whether you reside in urban or rural Ottawa, dogs and cats are subject to the same animal control bylaws including pet registration and noise complaints from barking dogs.
The City advocates and promotes responsible pet care and ownership for all residents in urban, suburban and rural areas. The Animal Care and Control By-law helps ensure public health and safety while promoting the appropriate care for animals.
Number of cats and dogs allowed
There is a limit on the number of dogs and cats over 20 weeks of age per household:
- Three dogs in all areas of the city including residents of rural Ottawa.
- Five cats in areas not zoned agricultural. There is no restriction on the number of cats kept in zoned agricultural, general rural, rural-agricultural or marginal resource.
- Where both dogs and cats are kept, a total of five animals are permitted with the maximum of three dogs.
Cat and dog registration
Residents in rural areas should register their dogs and domestic cats through the City’s pet registration service. A numbered metal tag will be provided to attach to your pets collar for its safety and identification. Registrations expire April 30 of each year. Fees for registration vary depending on whether the animal is sterilized and/or microchipped.
Lost and found pets
If you have lost or found a pet, please refer to the Lost and found section of the Ottawa Humane Society. Find out all the steps for reporting a lost animal and helpful hints for finding and reuniting pets with their owners.
Dogs in parks
The Animal Care and Control By-law provides for a variety of park usages or "designations" for dogs. There is a Dogs-in-Parks Designation Policy (DIPDP) that now applies.
For more detailed information, refer to the Dogs in parks Web page.
The city has enacted By-law 2013-107 with respect to boarding kennels, in-home breeding kennels and recreational kennels.
For building compliances regarding kennels, refer to by-law (Section 84) kennel provisions.
Traditional livestock such as dairy and beef cattle, horses, sheep, swine, goats and poultry are mixed with more unique farm animals like llamas, alpacas, emus, deer, elk, rabbits and waterfowl. Beekeeping is also popular because honeybees not only provide honey, beeswax and medicinal products, but they are essential for the pollination of agricultural crops, gardens, trees and flowers.
Predation and wildlife damage
Occasionally livestock or poultry are killed or badly hurt by coyotes, wolves, dogs or other predators. If you are a farmer with a business registration number and have lost livestock because of predators, claims for compensation can be made to the City of Ottawa. Claimants also require a Premises ID number. Livestock kills by wildlife must be reported to the City as soon as possible within 48 hours by calling 3-1-1.
A city-appointed Livestock Valuer will examine the situation based on the guidelines of the Ontario Wildlife Damage Compensation Program. Do not remove your animal(s) until the valuator has visited the site. All claims for compensation under the Program are subject to the Livestock Valuer’s inspection and report.
The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) provide extensive information on predator control including fencing options, use of livestock guard dogs and best management practices.
Discharge of firearms by-law – exemption for livestock protection
Residents of rural Ottawa are subject to the regulations as outlined in the City’s Discharge of Firearms by-law. An exemption to this by-law exists for rural residents and/or their agents which allows for the discharge of firearms in order to scare or destroy animals that are found in the act of killing or injuring livestock or poultry, and wildlife destroying their property.
Livestock mortality disposal
Livestock mortality is a reality of rural life whether you manage a large livestock operation or own a small hobby farm. The removal and disposal of deadstock is regulated by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
Nutrient management / assistance for local farmers
The Nutrient Management Act was instituted by the Province of Ontario in 2002 to manage materials containing nutrients to enhance protection of the natural environment and provide a sustainable future for agricultural operations and rural development. Along with other regulations, it specifies standards for the size, capacity, construction, design and location of buildings or structures that are used to store materials containing nutrients or to house farm animals. The Act may also require farmers to undertake additional excavations, such as the formation of earth barriers.
Funding for a Nutrient Management Plan or Turf Management Plan can be acquired through the City’s Rural Clean Water Grants Program for projects that protect surface water and groundwater quality and encourage effective use of available nutrient resources.
Rural clean water program
The Rural Clean Water Grants Program is a City of Ottawa environmental initiative to provide financial and technical assistance to rural landowners within Ottawa to encourage implementation of on-the-ground projects and best management practices that improve and protect water quality in local rivers, streams, creeks and groundwater reserves.
Areas related to livestock operations include:
- Livestock access restriction to watercourse
- To improve surface water quality by eliminating livestock access to watercourses
- Milkhouse / milking parlour wash water treatment and disposal
- To eliminate water quality impairment resulting from milkhouse and milking parlour wash water discharges to surface water and seepage into groundwater, and to encourage environmentally responsible management of wastewater.
- Wastewater / manure storage
- To prevent contamination of surface water and groundwater from wastewater and manure and to encourage environmentally responsible wastewater/manure handling practices.
Disposal of livestock medication
Line Fences Act
When a disagreement about fencing arises between neighbours, property owners may apply to the City of Ottawa to appoint fence-viewers under the Line Fences Act to arbitrate the dispute. As per City of Ottawa by-law 2011-350, this process only applies to land zoned as follows: O1O (Trans Canada Pipeline Subzone); O1P (Hydro Corridor Subzone); AG (Agricultural Zone); ME (Mineral Extraction Zone); MR (Mineral Aggregate Reserve Zone); RU (Rural Countryside Zone); DR (Development Reserve Zone); and EP2 and EP3 (Environmental Protection Subzones). A $420 application fee also applies. For more information, please contact the Rural Affairs Office.
Black bears are generally shy and often stay away from people. Bears actively feed from mid April until late fall and will travel up to 100 km to find food. They can be attracted to pet food that is left outdoors, bird feeders, barbecues, composters, fruit trees, sweet corn and grain fields. If you need to report at bear problem, call the provincial Bear Reporting Line at 1-866-514-BEAR (2327). In the event of a bear emergency, call police by dialling 9-1-1. For complete information on dealing with bears including what farmers can do to keep bears at bay, see Bear Wise from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.
Coyotes have adjusted to living near towns and farms and occasionally within cities. The coyote adapts its diet to available food sources like rodents, other small mammals, fruits, grasses, vegetables and even trash. Unfortunately, coyotes are increasingly responsible for livestock kill when easy prey is in reach such as sheep or a newborn calf. The Ontario SPCA has developed a fact sheet “Living with Coyotes” which includes guidelines on deterring coyotes from residential properties and protecting farm animals. For more information, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry also information about preventing and managing conflicts with coyotes.
White-tailed deer are common in Ottawa and can often be spotted along roadways and open fields. Deer can destroy vegetable and flower gardens, ruin trees and shrubs and agricultural crops. The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) is responsible for managing deer populations in the province of Ontario. Deer and vehicle collisions are a major safety concern especially during the fall hunting and mating season. During this time, the City of Ottawa embarks on an annual campaign that focuses on reducing deer and wildlife collisions.
The red fox typically lives on the edges of wooded areas and farms, but have been seen in villages, towns and even cities. Foxes only use dens when they are breeding. These dens are usually dug in sand and soil. Red foxes are nocturnal, but it’s not unusual for them to be spotted during the day. They also have excellent sight, smell and hearing abilities which helps them hunt. Foxes eat small mammals such as mice, voles, rabbits and beaver, fish, reptiles, fruits of all sorts and garbage. The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has information about preventing and managing conflicts with foxes.
In general, wolves avoid contact with humans and tend to be nocturnal. Coyote are often mistaken for wolves because they are so similar. Wolves mostly eat white-tailed deer, smaller mammals and rodents. Occasionally, when the wolf’s natural food source is scarce, they will attack and kill livestock. The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has information about preventing and managing conflicts with wolves.
Other mammals, bats and birds
See "Having a problem with wildlife?" for more information on wildlife.
City of Ottawa Wildlife Strategy
City Council directed staff to develop an integrated and comprehensive Wildlife Strategy centred on wildlife-sensitive planning, with a focus on public education and awareness programs. The final Strategy was approved by Council on July 17, 2013.
Hunting regulations in Ontario
For information about hunting specifically (e.g. open seasons), contact the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry or call 1-800-667-1940. You can also download a copy of the Hunting Regulations Summary.
Discharge of firearms
Although the City of Ottawa does not regulate hunting, the Discharge of Firearms By-law No. 2002-344 regulates the discharge of firearms within the boundaries of the City of Ottawa for public safety.
Discharge of firearms by-law – exemption for livestock protection
An exemption to this bylaw exists for “a farmer or his or her agent, in order to scare or destroy animals that are found in the act of killing or injuring livestock or poultry and wildlife destroying his or her property in accordance with the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994, Chap.22 and the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1997, S.O. 1997, Chap. 41, as amended.”
Coyotes are remarkably adaptable and resourceful animals. They help to maintain the natural balance in landscapes where traditional predators no longer exist. Urban coyotes in particular provide a valuable service to us by helping to control populations of animals that might otherwise become problematic, such as rats and Canada geese. With greater understanding and mutual respect, we can coexist with coyotes.
Conflicts between coyotes and humans often revolve around food. Never feed coyotes! This can cause coyotes to lose their natural fear of humans (a process known as “habituation”), increasing the chance of conflict.
Aggression by coyotes towards humans is extremely rare and almost always involves habituated animals. It is not normal behaviour.
If a coyote approaches you:
- stand tall, wave your arms and shout at it
- do not make direct eye contact, which can be perceived as a threat
- pick up small children (or small pets) to make them appear less vulnerable
- do not turn your back or run – just like dogs, coyotes may chase you if you run
- back away slowly while continuing to shout, wave.
Teach your children to react the same way, and to let you know immediately if they have seen a coyote (keep in mind that small children may not be able to tell the difference between a wild coyote and a neighbourhood dog).
Dealing with coyotes near your home
If you see coyotes near your home, make sure they have no reason to hang around:
- keep pets inside or closely supervised, take down any bird feeders, secure your trash and other attractants (e.g. barbeque)
- let the coyotes know that they’re unwelcome by shouting and waving your arms at them, clanging pots or pans, playing loud music or (if they’re close enough) and spraying them with water from a hose
- homemade rattles made out of empty pop cans and pebbles may also be effective when shaken or tossed towards (not directly at) the coyote
- let your neighbours know what’s going on, so that they can take similar steps
- carry a flashlight when walking at night and avoid wooded areas, especially when there have been coyote sightings.
Coyotes and domestic animals
Coyotes are naturally aggressive towards dogs, which they typically consider either as prey or as competitors. Dogs that are smaller than coyotes are usually seen as prey, and may be attacked at any time of year. Larger dogs are mostly at risk during the coyotes’ breeding season (January-April) due to increased territorialism in defence of mates and pups. Keep dogs on leash when walking them near parks or natural areas, and supervise them closely when letting them out at night.
Who should I call when I see a coyote?
Aggressive behaviour by a coyote towards a human should be reported immediately to the Ottawa Police Service by calling 9-1-1.
If you have been bitten or scratched by a coyote, please call Ottawa Public Health, (or 3-1-1 after hours) to speak with a Public Health Inspector.
All other coyote sightings should be reported to 3-1-1, so the City can track the locations of the animals.
For more information, consult the following links:
- Preventing and managing conflicts with coyotes, wolves and foxes (Ministry of Natural Resources)
- Living with Wildlife: Coyotes (Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals)
- Coexisting with coyotes (Rideau Valley Wildlife Sanctuary)