Discovery of loss by producer
Report to investigator within 48 hours
When a producer of a farm animal discovers a loss of an animal caused by a wolf, the producer has 48 hours to report the wolf incident to an MDA approved investigator.
Investigators may be a conservation officer (pdf), a USDA APHIS Wildlife Services specialist, a peace officer from the county sheriff, a licensed veterinarian, or a university extension educator. All investigators must have successfully completed MDA approved training for conducting wolf depredation investigations.
Investigation of loss on farm
Claim form completed and sent to MDA with findings
A MDA claim form is completed with the producer’s information by the investigator. A form can be found on the MDA website or the University of Minnesota Extension Educator’s office.
An investigator goes to the farm and investigates the reported incident. The investigator acquires a statement from the livestock owner. The statement should include a list of everyone who is financially involved with the livestock, the existence and any details of insurance coverage, and information regarding the circumstances of the loss. The investigator makes an on-site inspection of the site and submits a report to the MDA including photographs and details regarding the results of the investigation.
Claim form check for completeness and investigation findings reviewed
Claim form sent to Extension for market value
MDA reviews the form for completeness and sends it to University of Minnesota Extension Educator for market value determination of the livestock.
*There are two options for the next step. Whether or not MDA found the claim to be valid determines where the claim goes next. If the claim is found to be valid, it is sent to University of Minnesota Extension. If the claim is not valid, MDA notifies the producer and denies the claim.
Market value of killed livestock determined
Claim form completed and sent to MDA with market value
The University of Minnesota Extension Educator shall determine the actual fair market value of the destroyed livestock based on the following criteria: type and breed of animal, estimated size and weight, estimated age, registration of the stock, and the replacement cost of the animal, as displayed on the form available on MDA’s guide for Minnesota farmers & ranchers living in wolf territory page.
The Educator shall return the completed form and investigation report to MDA for payment.
MDA will notify the owner of any denied claims in writing.
An owner may request a trial de novo (an appeal) in a court of the county where the loss occurred for a denied claim. The producer has 60 days from the receipt of the denial letter to file an appeal in court in the county in which the loss occurred.
Completed claim form processed for payment
MDA decides if it was “likely” the loss was the result of a gray wolf attack and makes payment as recommended by the U of M Extension Educator.
A producer cannot receive payments less than $100 and cannot receive more than $20,000 in a single fiscal year. If the funds appropriated to MDA are insufficient to cover the claim, the claim may be delayed or denied.