Simon looking earnest in Preveza, Greece
Simon Shields, Lawyer

Advising Self-Representing
Ontario Litigants
Since 2005

tenant / small claims / welfare (ontario works) / odsp / human rights / employment / consumer /
collection agencies / criminal injuries compensation / sppa (admin law)
/ line fences / animal cruelty / dogs & cats / wild animal law (all Canada) / war / conditions of guide use

home / about / client testimonials / areas of practice / about self-representation

Your
Self-Representation
Service Options

Simon Shields, LLB



























Wild Animal Law of Canada

------------------------------

Wildlife Act (Manitoba)

(current to 30 August 2016)
Note: Recent amendments to the Wildlife Act in force on or after 01 September 2016 are not included in this module.
Note Re Application of the Wildlife Act ('WA')

For the purposes of Manitoba's Wildlife Act, 'wildlife' are any species of vertebrate animal (other than fish) that are either (1) wild by nature and indigenous to the province, or (2) a 'wild animal' listed in the Wildlife Act (scroll to the end) or in (3) the Designation of Wild Animals Regulation [WA 1]. Fish are dealt with separately in the Fisheries Act (see that module).

For purposes of the WA, 'exotic wildlife' means a species that is wild by nature but not indigenous to the province, and is declared in the Exotic Wildlife Regulation to be exotic wildlife [WA 1].
Note: Re the Hunting, Fishing and Trapping Heritage Act ('HFTHA')
This 'hunting rights' statute (like several others across the country) is essentially legally meaningless, affirming only that a "person has a right to hunt, fish and trap in accordance with the law" [HFTHA 1(1)]. Such rights existed prior to and without the HFTHA.
This law bears on the wildlife issues of:
  • PROTECTION
  • OWNERSHIP AND POSSESSION
  • SALE
  • FACILITIES
  • ADMINISTRATIVE
  • IMPORT, EXPORT AND RELOCATION
  • HABITAT
  • EUTHANASIA
  • EXTERMINATION
  • HUNTING AND TRAPPING
  • CIVIL LIABILITY
The full current text of the Wildlife Act and it's Regulations may be viewed at the Manitoba Statutes website.

_________________________

Table of Contents
1. Overview
2. Ownership and Possession of Wild Animals
(a) Ownership
(b) Possession and Wildlife in Captivity
3. Protections
(a) General
(b) Attractants
(c) Animal Health
4. Import, Export and Relocation
5. Hunting and Trapping
(a) Overview
(b) Hunting-Related Provisions and Prohibitions
(c) Captive Hunting of Wildlife and Exotic Wildlife
(d) Trapping-Related Provisions and Prohibitions
6. Exotic Wildlife
(a) General
(b) Control of Exotic Species
7. Falconry
8. Game Bird Farms
9. Civil Liability
10. Enforcement
______________________________________


1. Overview

Manitoba's Wildlife Act is typical of other provincial hunting statutes, although fishing regulation is hived off into a separate Fisheries Act (see that module).

As with all such statutes, it relies heavily on licensing (also permits, authorizations, etc) as it's primary regulatory methodology. As such, it's provisions are a litany of 'X is prohibited, except under license' - which is the essence of the licensing model: prohibit the activity, but then allow it by licensing. The regulatory goal is to track and control the activity more closely and then, if necessary, to restrict it by restricting the volume of license issuance.

For additional regulation and management, the Minister may designate lands into different categories of 'area', each with it's own regulatory regime. For this purpose, Crown land may be designated into wildlife management areas, registered trapline districts and special trapping areas - while both Crown and private land may be designated into animal control areas, game bird refuges, managed hunting areas and wildlife refuges [WA 2,3].

These designations are made in the Designation of Wildlife Lands Regulation. The specific regulation that applies to each of them is set out in the Use of Wildlife Lands Regulation.


2. Ownership and Possession of Wild Animals

(a) Ownership

Property title to all wild animals living in a 'state of nature' reside with the province [WA 85(1)]. Where a wild animal is killed lawfully, title transfers to the person who lawfully killed it, subject to their continued compliance with the Wildlife Act and regulations [WA 86(1)].

Similarly, where a wild animal is taken alive and possessed lawfully by a person, title resides with the person, subject to their continued compliance with the Wildlife Act and regulations [WA 86(2)].

On conviction of a WA offence, any title interest of the convicted in wildlife is forfeited to the Crown [WA 78(1)].

The minister may dispose of any live wildlife or exotic wildlife in captivity that is the property of the Crown, by selling, donating, killing or destroying the wildlife or exotic wildlife, or by setting it free [WA 87(2)].

(b) Possession and Wildlife in Captivity

The live capture or possession of wild animals generally prohibited (except as set out elsewhere in this module) [WA 45].

The species of wild animal listed as 'prohibited species' (see s.6 'Exotic Species' below) may not be possessed in the province [WA 48(2)(a)].

Possession of any wild animal illegally imported into the province is prohibited [WA 48(2)(c)]


3. Protections

(a) General

The following protective provisions are included in the WA:
  • taking, possessing or wilfully destroying the nest or eggs of any game bird (listed in Division 3 of the Schedule to the Act) or any protected bird (Division 6 of the Schedule) is prohibited except as authorized by a licence or permit [WA 49];

  • destruction or damaging of habitat on Crown land is prohibited without a permit [WA 50(1)].

    For this purpose, 'habitat' means "the soil, water, food and cover components of the natural environment that are necessary to sustain wildlife" [WA 1].
(b) Attractants

A WA officer may, if they discover that a lure or attractant to wildlife or exotic wildlife "creates or may create a risk to the health or safety of wildlife, exotic wildlife, livestock, the safety of a person or may result in damage to property", order the owner or occupier of the land to take action to remove or enclose it [Wildlife Protection Reg ('WP Reg') 6.1]. Similar provisions apply to attractants on land not owned by the person [WP Reg 6.1.1].

Additionally, it is prohibited to place anything that lures or attracts wildlife or exotic wildlife along highways [WP Reg 6.2.1].

(c) Animal Health

To determine and ensure the health and genetic integrity of wildlife and exotic wildlife in the province, the Director of the Wildlife Branch has powers to test animals, gather information about both wild and domestic animals [WP Reg 6.3(1)]. They may then designate a disease or parasite to be a threat to the health of a wildlife or exotic wildlife population and designate control zones to reduce populations, to monitor and to limit or eradicate the disease or parasite [WP Reg 6.3(3)]. For these purposes, the Director has additional powers of seizure and detention, quarantine and destruction of animals [WP Reg 6.3(6)].


4. Import, Export and Relocation

No species of wild animal may be exported from, or imported into, the province without proper permit [WA 48(2)(b,d)].

The species of wild animal listed as 'prohibited species' (see s.6 'Exotic Species') and may not be imported or released into the province except under proper permit.

With respect to dead animals (other than fur-bearing animals), authority to export is contained in the license which authorized it being taken (typically, by hunting) [48(4)].


5. Hunting and Trapping

(a) Overview

'Hunting' is defined as "chasing, driving, flushing, attracting, pursuing, worrying, following after or on the trail of, searching for, shooting at, stalking or lying in wait for wildlife, whether or not the wildlife is then or subsequently captured, killed, taken or wounded", but trapping and nature watching ("stalking, attracting, searching for or lying in wait for wildlife by an unarmed person solely for the purpose of watching or taking pictures of wildlife") are excluded from this definition [WA 1].

'Trapping' means "taking, capturing or killing or attempting to take, capture or kill wildlife by any means or contrivance designed to enclose, capture, hold, ensnare or otherwise restrain an animal, whether that means or contrivance kills the animal or not" [WA 1].

Hunting, trapping and other depredations ('taking, killing or capturing") against wildlife are prohibited unless the person holds a license authorizing the activity [WA 15(1)]. This rule is excepted for taking allowed amphibians and reptiles (listed in the Schedule, Division 5 of the Act) for the person's own use [WA 15(2)].

(b) Hunting-Related Provisions and Prohibitions

The following provisions and prohibitions apply with respect to hunting and related activities (collectively, 'taking') [Schedule and Division references are the Schedule at the end of the Wildlife Act]:
  • hunting in a manner that is dangerous to other persons, or without due regard for the safety of other persons is prohibited [WA 10];

  • hunting while the hunter's ability to do so is impaired by alcohol or a narcotic drug is prohibited [WA 11];

  • it is prohibited to at night use lighting or reflecting equipment for the purpose of taking a vertebrate animal or attracting or confusing a vertebrate animal for the purpose of taking it ('jacklighting'); exceptions for allowed amphibians and reptiles (listed in the Schedule, Division 5 of the Act) taken without the use of firearms [WA 12];

  • hunting or trapping wildlife in a manner that causes or is likely to cause damage to crops, livestock or other property is prohibited [WA 16];

  • taking a wild animal species in an area restricted for that species is prohibited [WA 17];

  • taking, or paying for the taking, of wild animals for the purposes of "hire, gain, remuneration or reward or the hope or expectation thereof" is prohibited, exceptions for black bear, wolves, and Schedule-listed fur-bearing animals, amphibians and reptiles [WA 18];

  • possessing wild animals that have been illegally taken is prohibited [WA 19];

  • taking or possessing a 'protected species' (listed in Division 6 of the Schedule to the Act) without authorization is prohibited [WA 20];

  • owners and occupiers of private land, and their immediate family, may hunt upland game birds on their land without a license [GH Regs 23];

  • to "chase, drive, flush, pursue, worry, harrass, follow after or on the trail of, or search for, any wildlife" from a vehicle (which includes "motor vehicles, trailers, tractors, power boats, aircraft or any other vehicle drawn, propelled or driven by any means other than human power" [WA 1]) is prohibited [WA 22];

  • taking wild animals, other than fur-bearing animals, with any means "other than a rifle, shotgun, cross bow or bow and arrow" is prohibited [WA 23];

  • using poison in a manner that is likely to kill wild animals, using poison to take a wild animal, or possession of poison for that purpose is prohibited [WA 24];

  • generally, taking a wild animal on a Sunday is prohibited [exceptions for big game and game bird hunting: General Hunting Reg ('GH Reg') 3.1, WA 25];

  • discharging a firearm between half an hour after sunset and half an hour before sunrise is prohibited [WA 27]

  • exceeding a bag limit is prohibited [WA 28];

  • trafficking in wild animals without authorization is prohibited [WA 30.1];

  • taking wild animals on private land without consent of the owner or occupier is prohibited [WA 33];

  • using a dog for, or being accompanied by a dog while, hunting big game animals or wild turkeys is prohibited [WA 35(a)];

  • allowing a dog to run after, pursue or molest a big game animal, a fur bearing animal or a wild turkey is prohibited [WA 35(b)];

  • hunters must retrieve any game bird, small game or big game animal that they have killed or injured [WA 32];

  • operators of game production farms and their employees attempting to recapture an escaped game production animal are exempt from the Act insofar as the attempt takes place "within a reasonable time following the animal's escape" and "the person uses reasonable and generally accepted methods of humane capture in a way that does not endanger other people or animals or cause damage to property" [WA 33.1].

  • "a person may kill or take any wildlife, other than a moose, caribou, deer, antelope, cougar, elk or game bird, on his own land for the purpose of defending or preserving his property", except by jacklighting or use of poison [WA 46(1)];

  • the Minister may authorize, in writing, a person to capture or kill wildlife or exotic wildlife for the purpose of protecting property or public safety, research or the management of wildlife or exotic wildlife [WA 64(1)];

  • WA officers may "capture or kill wildlife or exotic wildlife for the purpose of protecting property or public safety, research or the management of wildlife or exotic wildlife" [WA 64.1];

  • the Minister may grant a permit to take and possess "any wildlife or exotic wildlife or the nest or eggs of any bird" for educational, scientific or other purposes [WA 65];

  • WA officers may "at any time and without incurring any liability therefor to the owner of the dog, kill any dog found running after, pursuing or molesting a big game animal, fur bearing animal or wild turkey" [WA 74];

  • it is prohibited to use drones in the "while hunting or while accompanying another person who is hunting" [GH Reg 9.1(1)].
(c) Captive Hunting of Wildlife and Exotic Wildlife

Generally, the hunting (which includes killing) of captive wildlife or exotic wildlife is prohibited [Captive Hunting Regulation ('CH Regs') 2(1)], with the exceptions set out in this subsection. For these purposes, an animal is 'in captivity' "if it is prevented from leaving an enclosed area created through the use of fences, topographical features or other types of barriers, regardless of the size of the enclosed area" [CW Reg 1(2)].

The only true 'hunting' of captive wild animals that is allowed is that in 'game bird shooting reserves'. 'Game birds' are the species listed in Division 3 of the Schedule to the WA (grouse, partridge, ptarmigan and turkey) and migratory game birds (see the federal MBCA module). A 'game bird shooting reserve' license [CWA Reg 23] allows "possession, breeding, hunting, killing or sale" of game birds by it's holder on their privately-held land [CWA Reg 24]. Birds in such reserves are typically raised on site or purchased from game bird farms and are essentially domesticated animals, but regardless they may be 'hunted' on the reserve with permission of the operator during all months except the four summer months of May to August [CWA Reg 26].

The other exceptions relate relate to captive killing in the context of agricultural slaughter and euthanasia, and these only apply when no one is paying the owner or keeper of the animal for the right to kill it [CH Regs 2(2,3)]:
  • the slaughter of wildlife or exotic wildlife where kept under permit or license under the Livestock Diversification Act (this regulates non-traditional domestic food animals), if done in a manner consistent with methods and standards recognized within the agricultural industry for that species of animal, and in an impoundment of not more than 0.1 hectare (0.25 acre);

  • the slaughter of bison by a person who owns it and raises bison for agricultural purposes, in a manner consistent with methods and standards recognized within the agricultural industry for bison, and in an impoundment of not more than 0.1 hectare (0.25 acre);

  • euthanasia or immobilization of wildlife or exotic wildlife under the advice of a veterinarian for humane or medical reasons; or

  • the killing of wildlife or exotic wildlife when written authorization has been obtained from the Director.
(d) Trapping-Related Provisions and Prohibitions

The following provisions and prohibitions apply with respect to trapping and related activities (collectively, 'trapping'):
  • it is prohibited to trap wildlife in a manner that causes or is likely to cause damage to crops, livestock or other property [WA 16];

  • it is prohibited to "remove, disturb, spring or in any way interfere with any trap set out lawfully by any other person for the purpose of taking fur bearing animals" [WA 39];

  • trappers using a live holding device for trapping wolves or fur-bearing animals shall inspect the trap at least once every 72 hours [Trapping of Wild Animals Reg ('TWA Reg') 8(1)];

  • trappers using a device for trapping wolves or fur-bearing animals that does not result in the immediate death of the animal shall immediately and humanely kill the animal after discovering its trapping, taking or capture [TWA Reg 8(2)].
More details regarding trapping regulation - including regulation of equipment, methodology and open seasons - are located in the Trapping of Wild Animals Regulation.


6. Exotic Wildlife

(a) General

For purposes of the WA, 'exotic wildlife' means a species that is wild by nature but not indigenous to the province, and is declared in the Exotic Wildlife Regulation ('EW Reg') to be exotic wildlife [WA 1]. There are three categories of exotic wildlife, and they are subject to the below-noted rules:
  • Prohibited (Schedule A)

    These are nutria and raccoon dogs.

    It is prohibited to import, possess, harbour, allow to escape or release to the wild any prohibited exotic species [EW Reg 2].

  • Restricted (Schedule B)

    These are wild boar and all members of the Cervidae (deer) family not indigenous to Manitoba.

    It is prohibited to import, possess, harbour, allow to escape or release to the wild any restricted exotic species [EW Reg 3(1)]. Exceptions to these rules allow:

    • possession and harbouring by "public facilit(ies) established for the purposes of research, public education or zoological display" if they hold a Ministerial permit to that effect [EW Reg 3(2,3)];

    • possession and harbouring by holders of licenses issued under the Livestock Diversification Act (this regulates non-traditional domestic food animals) [EW Reg 3(2)];

    • the importation of a live restricted exotic wildlife under permit for purposes of slaughter [EW Reg 3(3.1)].

    Restricted exotic wildlife must be permanently numbered by the owner (eg. tattoo, brand, implant, etc) [EW Reg 3(4)]. Owners of restricted exotic wildlife must submit annual records [EW Reg 3(5)].

  • Controlled (Schedule C)

    These are all members of the Bovidae family not indigenous to Manitoba - including bison, African buffalo, water buffalo, antelopes, gazelles, sheep, goats, muskoxen, and domestic cattle.

    It is prohibited to import, possess, harbour, allow to escape or release to the wild any controlled exotic species, unless holding a permit for that purpose [EW Reg 3.1].
(b) Control of Exotic Species

"For the purpose of public safety or the protection of wildlife, wildlife habitat or public or private property" exotic wildlife running at large may be hunted, trapped or captured by a WA officer or a municipal enforcement officer [EW Reg 4(1)]. Similarly, a property owner may hunt, trap or capture exotic wildlife "for the purpose of defending or preserving his or her property" if they are running at large [EW Reg 4(2)].

The owner or keeper of escaped exotic wildlife must "immediately make reasonable attempts to capture or kill the escaped animal" [EW Reg 6].

The Director may designate 'exotic animal control areas' for one or more species as a means of population control [EW Reg 7(1)]. Where such species are running at large in that area, residents of the control area may hunt them without license [EW Reg 8(1)].


7. Falconry

Falconry is the use of raptor birds for hunting, and in Manitoba a falconry permit is required [CWA Reg 4(1)].

Except for retired birds, a falconry permit allows the possession of only two birds and their joint offspring [CWA Reg 5].

Falcons are subject to registration and identification requirements [CWA Reg 7].

Authority may be granted to capture birds for falconry from the wild (including nestlings), or for breeding raptors [CWA Reg 9-11].

Raptors may be used to hunt unprotected species of birds at any time of the year, but otherwise are subject to open seasons for upland game birds and migratory game birds [CWA Reg 16]. For these purposes, 'unprotected birds' are those that are not listed as either game birds or protected species in the Schedule to the Wildlife Act (scroll down) [CWA Reg 1].

Standards of care for raptors ('necessities of life') are, in addition to the provision of "food, light, water, space, sanitation, and protection from predators and disturbances" set out in the Schedule to the Captive Wild Animal Regulation (scroll to the ed) [CWA Reg 18].


8. Game Bird Farms

'Game birds' are the species listed in Division 3 of the Schedule to the WA (grouse, partridge, ptarmigan and turkey) and migratory game birds (see the federal MBCA module). Licenses are required to breed (or possess for breeding) game birds and to operate a game bird farm (which includes the "possession, breeding, slaughter or sale" of game birds) [CWA 20-21].

Apparently in order to distinguish clearly between game bird farms and game bird shooting reserves (below), firearms may not be used to kill captive-reared game birds on a game bird farm [CWA Reg 22].


9. Civil Liability

WA officers may "at any time and without incurring any liability therefor to the owner of the dog, kill any dog found running after, pursuing or molesting a big game animal, fur bearing animal or wild turkey" [WA 74].

The Crown has no liability "for death, personal injury or property damage caused by any wildlife or exotic wildlife" [WA 85(2)].

Where a person is convicted of an offence "respecting the killing, possession or transportation of a wild animal" they are liable to the Crown for the value of that animal [WA 86.1(1)].

The Minister of Finance may compensate livestock owners for accidental death or injury caused to their livestock by a hunter hunting during big game open season in the area, if the hunter is unknown to the owner [WA 88(1)]. Details of this program and the application process are set out in the Hunter-Killed or Injured Livestock Regulation.


10. Enforcement

The Minister may appoint 'officers' for purposes of enforcing the WA [WA 68(2)]. Officers have the powers and authority of police officers and peace officers [WA 69], including the right to enter and inspect any licensed premises, arrest, and seizure [WA 70-71].

The WA has a broad general offence provision which can be used to prosecute violations [WA 80(1)].
Lawyer License #37308N / Website © Simon Shields 2005-2017