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Carnivore Depredation
on Livestock

Compensation Rules for Depredation Incidents

Sheep, cattle or horses killed or injured by bears, cougars or wolves are eligible for compensation using state funds. Compensation for other animal losses depends on availability of federal or private funds.

The claimant is required to provide documentation that includes the commercial value of the lost livestock, an estimate of the percentage loss of value for the injured livestock, and a completed claim form. State law requires that only claims of $500 or more may be filed with the Department for compensation from state funds.

For confirmed depredations by wolves, the owner will be paid for verified losses on acreages of less than 100 acres. The owner will be paid an amount of twice the verified losses on acreages greater than 100 acres; payment at twice the verified losses assumes that multiple animals are missing.

For depredations caused by wolves that are classified by WDFW as “probable”, the owner will be paid for the verified loss, no matter the acreage size.

The claimant must:

  • Notify WDFW within 24 hours of discovery of livestock attack
  • Protect the carcass to avoid scavenging and allow investigation to be completed by WDFW or its designee as to the cause of the death or injury
  • Request a claim form from WDFW within 30 days of discovery of the loss by contacting Robert Waddell, Wildlife Conflict Specialist in writing, by phone or via email: 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091, 360-902-2402, robert.waddell@dfw.wa.gov
  • Submit a completed claim form within 90 days of notifying WDFW of the loss; completed form includes a depredation claim eligibility checklist to show proactive measures taken, estimated value of lost or injured livestock, proof of ownership of lost or injured livestock, reporting of any related insurance policies, and signature.

The claimant is responsible for determining the amount and value of livestock lost or injured. WDFW is responsible for determining the cause of the livestock loss. The compensated value of the loss is set by WDFW in consultation with recognized livestock organizations and the state Department of Agriculture.

The claimant will be notified upon completion of WDFW evaluation, and has 60 days to accept or appeal the offer for settlement of the claim. Any disagreements between the claimant and WDFW over the livestock loss value may be settled through an adjudicative proceeding.

These rules are authorized by state law under the Revised Code of Washington (RCW 77.04.012, 77.04.020, and 77.04.055) and Washington Administrative Code (WAC 232-36-020, 232-36-030, 232-36-200, 232-36-210, 232-36-400)