Pursuant to this section, the department may distribute money specifically appropriated by the legislature or other funding entity to pay livestock or guard dog losses caused by wild bear, cougar, or wolves in the amount of up to ten thousand dollars per claim unless, following an appeal, the department is ordered to pay more (see RCW 77.36.130
(2)). The department will develop claim procedures and application forms consistent with this section for cash compensation of livestock or guard dog losses. Partnerships with other public and private organizations to assist with completion of applications, assessment of losses, and to provide funding for compensation are encouraged.
Filing a claim:
(1) Owners who have worked with the department to prevent livestock depredation, yet who still experience loss or losses that occur under emergent situations, may file a claim for cash compensation if they meet eligibility requirements.
(2) Claimant must notify the department within twenty-four hours of discovery of livestock or other domestic animal attack or as soon as feasible.
(3) Damage claim assessment of amount and value of domestic animal loss is the primary responsibility of the claimant.
(4) Investigation of the loss and review and approval of the assessment will be conducted by the department:
(a) The owner must provide access to department staff or designees to investigate the cause of death or injury to domestic animals and use reasonable measures to protect evidence at the depredation site.
(b) Federal officials may be responsible for the investigation when it is suspected that the attack was by a federally listed species.
(5) Claimant must request a damage claim application within ten days of a loss.
(6) A complete, written claim must be submitted to the department within sixty days of an attack on domestic animals.
(7) The claim form declaration must be signed, affirming that the information provided is factual and truthful, before the department will process a claim.
(8) In addition to a completed claim form, an applicant must provide:
(a) Claimant must provide proof of legal ownership or contractual lease of claimed livestock.
(b) Claimant must provide records documenting the value of the domestic animal based on current market price.
(c) Declaration signed under penalty of perjury indicating that the applicant is eligible for the claim, meets eligibility requirements listed under this chapter, and all claim evaluation and assessment information in the claim application is to the best knowledge of the claimant true and accurate.
(d) Copy of any insurance policy covering loss claimed.
(e) Copy of application for other sources of loss compensation and any payment or denial documentation.
Settlement of claims:
(9) Subject to money appropriated to pay for domestic animal losses, undisputed claims will be paid up to ten thousand dollars.
(10) Valuation of the lost livestock will be determined by the market at the time the animals would normally be sold. Livestock will be valued based on the average weight of herd mates at the time of sale multiplied by the cash market price received; depredated cows or ewes will be replaced based on the value of a bred animal of the same age and type as the one lost, and bulls will be replaced using actual purchase price prorated based on a four-year depreciation cycle minus salvage value. The department may utilize the services of a certified livestock appraiser to assist in the evaluation of livestock claims.
(11) Claims for higher than normal livestock losses, reduced weight gains, or reduced pregnancy rates must include:
(a) At least three years of records prior to the year of the claim;
(b) The losses must occur on large open pastures where regular monitoring of livestock is impractical (and therefore discovery of carcasses infeasible) as determined by the department;
(c) Verification by the department that wolves are occupying the area;
(d) The losses cannot be reasonably explained by other causes;
(e) Claims will be assessed for losses in excess of the previous three year running average; and
(f) Owners must be in compliance with the department's preventative measures checklist and/or damage prevention agreement.
(12) Compensation paid by the department, in addition to any other compensation, may not exceed the total value of the assessed loss.
(13) Upon completion of the evaluation, the department will notify the owner of its decision to either deny the claim or make a settlement offer (order). The owner has sixty days from the date received to accept the department's offer for settlement of the claim or to submit an appeal of the order. The response must be in writing and the signed document may be mailed or submitted by fax or e-mail. If no written acceptance or request for appeal is received, the offer is considered rejected and not subject to appeal.
(14) If the claimant accepts the department's offer, the department will send payment to the owner within thirty days from receipt of the written acceptance document.
(15) The department will prioritize payment for livestock losses in the order the claims were received or upon final adjudication of an appeal. If the department is unable to make a payment for livestock losses during the current fiscal year, the claim shall be held over until the following fiscal year when funds become available. Claims that are carried over will take first priority and receive payment before any new claims are paid.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 77.04.012
, 77.04.055, 77.12.047, 77.12.240, chapter 77.36
RCW, and 2013 c 329. WSR 13-22-056 (Order 13-282), § 232-36-210, filed 11/4/13, effective 12/5/13. Statutory Authority: RCW 77.04.012
, 77.04.020, and 77.04.055. WSR 10-13-182 (Order 10-156), § 232-36-210, filed 6/23/10, effective 7/24/10.]