Proposals to reduce regulatory burden within the wildlife management program

ERO number
019-2714
Notice type
Bulletin
Act
Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1997
Posted by
Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
Transferred to
Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry
Bulletin posted
Last updated

This notice is for informational purposes only. There is no requirement to consult on this initiative on the Environmental Registry of Ontario. Learn more about the types of notices on the registry.

Bulletin summary

Amendments have been made to regulations under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act to reduce regulatory burden and streamline requirements related to trapping and airports that experience conflict or public safety issues associated with deer or elk.

Why consultation isn't required

On April 1, 2020, the Ontario Government made a temporary regulation to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. Ontario Regulation 115/20 exempted all proposals for policies, acts, regulations and instruments from posting requirements under the EBR.

Ontario Regulation 115/20 was revoked on June 15, 2020, however, we are posting this decision as a bulletin because the proposal was posted on May 29, 2020 while Ontario Regulation 115/20 was in effect.

Although consultation was not required, the Ministry did consult with the public on this proposal by posting ERO #019-1407 for public comment from June 9, 2020 to July 24, 2020. To ensure transparency, the Ministry is providing details of its decision and the effects of consultation on decision-making in this notice.

Bulletin details

Decision details

On October 29, 2020, the ministry has made amendments to Ontario Regulation 665/98 (Hunting), Ontario Regulation 666/98 (Possession, Buying and Selling of Wildlife) and Ontario Regulation 667/98 (Trapping) under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act to implement the changes in this proposal.

  1. Streamlining fur dealer records submissions
  • Requirements for Fur Dealer submission of records have been streamlined, which includes removing the regulatory requirement to obtain ministry permission prior to submitting records electronically, and reducing the frequency of records submission to annually, rather than monthly.
  1. Enabling persons to hold both a trapping licence and fur dealer’s licence
  • The prohibition preventing individuals from holding both a trapping licence and fur dealer’s licence at the same time, has been removed, subject to certain conditions. These conditions include separate pelt storage and identification/labelling.
  1. Enabling the use of firearms at night for dispatch of trapped furbearers
  • The use of firearms at night by licensed trappers or farmers for humane dispatch of lawfully trapped furbearing mammals is now permitted, subject to certain limitations to address potential safety concerns, such as:
    • Requirement to keep firearms encased and unloaded until in the immediate vicinity of a trapped furbearer to be dispatched, and be unloaded and encased immediately following dispatch.
    • Restrict the firearms permitted for this purpose to rimfire rifles only.
  • Associated changes have also been made to permit the use of any rimfire rifle for raccoon night hunting for consistency among hunting and trapping activities permitting the use of firearms at night.
  1. Exempting airports from obtaining a deer or elk removal authorization
  • Airports as defined under the Aeronautics Act (Canada) are permitted to harass, capture or kill white-tailed deer or American elk in protection of property associated with the operation of the airport without ministry authorization. This approach is consistent with managing protection of property for other wildlife species on an airport for public health and safety.

Comments received

  • 44 received through the registry
  • 0 received by mail
  • 275 received by email

Comments received via the registry that were approved for publishing are available in the Bulletin supporting materials section below.

Effects of consultation

We received a mixed response to the proposal to reduce regulatory burden within the wildlife management program.

Streamlining fur dealer records submissions

  • Most of the comments on this proposal were generally supportive. Some comments suggested that mail should still be an option, as some individuals may not have the means to file electronically.

Enabling persons to hold both a trapping licence and fur dealer’s licence

  • Most of the comments on this proposal were generally supportive. Some comments suggested MNRF retain a mechanism to ensure that individuals who are both trappers and fur dealers are keeping fur from the two activities separate

Enabling the use of firearms at night for dispatch of trapped furbearers

  • Most of the comments on this proposal were generally supportive with some general concerns expressed. Those in support pointed at the ability to dispatch at night as a long-standing issue and were supportive of the proposal. Some comments opposed suggested that the inability of trappers to check their traps during daylight hours indicated that the risks cannot be mitigated, and that trapping is not an appropriate activity.

Exempting airports from obtaining a deer removal authorization

  • Comments on this proposal were split close between generally supportive generally concerned. Many in support did not provide rationale for their support while those opposed expressed concern with the act of lethal removal of deer and elk.

The ministry also received several comments expressing concerns with several aspects of trapping in Ontario that are outside the scope of the proposal.

No changes were made to the proposals as a result of feedback received.

Supporting materials

View materials in person

Important notice: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, viewing supporting materials in person is not available at this time.

Please reach out to the Contact listed in this notice to see if alternate arrangements can be made.

MNRF - Fish and Wildlife Policy Branch - Fisheries Section
Address

300 Water Street
5th Floor, North tower
Peterborough, ON
K9J 3C7
Canada

Office phone number

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Public Input Coordinator

Phone number
Email address
Office
MNRF - Fish and Wildlife Policy Branch - Fisheries Section
Address

300 Water Street
5th Floor, North tower
Peterborough, ON
K9J 3C7
Canada

Office phone number

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