Jeff Pelc, Wildlife Biologist USDA/APHIS, Wildlife Services
Tim Fine, Extension Program Assistant, Miami County
Black Vultures have become a serious sheep pest in certain areas of Ohio. This article will focus on the procedures necessary to report a predation loss by black vultures to the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) for reimbursement under the indemnity program. In the next sheep team newsletter, we will take a look at options for black vulture control.
There are certain procedural steps that must be followed when dealing with losses due to Black Vulture predation. In most cases, if these procedures are not followed, compensation by ODA for your losses may not be granted.
1. Notify your local dog warden by telephone within 72 hours after the loss or injury has been discovered. The dog warden shall promptly visit your farm to determine whether the kill was by a predator or not. If the dog warden determines that the kill was not by a predator then no further steps need to be taken as there is no claim under the ODA indemnity program.
2. Document, by photograph, the injuries sustained by the animal. This should be done immediately after contacting the dog warden. Do not wait for the determination as to whether the kill was by a predator or not. It is advised to leave the animal where it lay for investigative purposes.
3. Obtain an indemnification form from the dog warden. This form will need to be filled out and sent to ODA within 30 days of discovery of the animal by the owner. Photos taken of the injuries and any other pertinent facts shall accompany this document. You may request assistance from the dog warden in filling out the indemnification form. If the animal injured or killed is a registered animal, then registration papers should also accompany the indemnification form.
4. If the dog warden determines that the kill was by a predator then he/she must promptly contact by telephone the county’s wildlife officer.
5. Following the notification from the dog warden, the wildlife officer must confirm, disaffirm, or state that he/she is uncertain about the determination of the dog warden on the claim. If the wildlife officer disaffirms the claim of the dog warden, the owner has no claim under the ODA indemnity program
6. If the wildlife officer affirms or states that he/she is uncertain about the determination of the dog warden, the wildlife officer must notify the ODA, in writing, of his/her determination.
7. The ODA will hear claims that are approved by the dog warden and supported by the wildlife officer. The ODA may decide to grant full compensation, partial compensation, or no compensation.
8. If the owner feels that the ODA’s determination of the fair market value, he/she may appeal the determination.
For more information on the indemnity process, contact the Ohio Department of Agriculture at (614) 728-6201 or at http://www.ohioagriculture.gov/animal