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Simon Shields, Lawyer

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Since 2005

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Wild Animal Law of Canada

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Health Protection Act (NS)

(current to 15 October 2016)
Note Re Application of the Health Protection Act ('HPA')

The HPA, like most provincial public health statutes in Canada, makes no distinction between domestic and wild animals. It's only concern is with animals as vectors of diseases that are injurious to humans. As such it applies to all animals within Nova Scotia.
Note re the Animal Health and Protection Act ('AHPA'): When defining 'animals' the AHPA identifies (lists) only domestics animals. It includes a reference to the Animal Health and Protection Regulations (AHP Regs) which can add species to this definition, but even these additional species are plainly meant to include only owned and farmed animals: ie. "horses, cattle, sheep, swine, goats, rabbits, bees, foxes, chinchilla, mink and domestic fowl" [AHP Regs 2(d)]. It is also plain from the AHPA's enforcement and inspection authorities that it is meant to be applicable to owned farm animals, not wild animals. As such the AHPA has no relevance to this wild animal legal guide.
These law bears on the wildlife issues of:
  • HUMAN HEALTH
  • EXTERMINATION
The full current text of the Health Protection Act and it's Regulations may be viewed at the Nova Scotia statute website.
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Nova Scotia's Health Protection Act ('HPA') is a typical provincial public health statute. It's only concern with animals, is with their capacity as vectors (or, in HPA terms, 'contacts') of human-injurious diseases, or 'health hazards' (which means an "animal ... [SS: either alone or in combination with other causes] that present or may present a threat to the public health) [HPA 3(b), Communicable Diseases Regulations ('CD Regs') 2(1)(c)]. Even then, the provisions which apply to 'contacts' make it plain that the statute is concerned with the movement of human vectors (contacts) of disease.

Provisions of the HPA which may have application to wild animals include:
  • medical officers of health "make any order that the medical officer considers necessary to prevent, remedy, mitigate or otherwise deal with the health hazard" [HPA 20(1)];

    This provision may include an order to destroy the subject animals.

  • medical officers of health "may enter any premises, other than a dwelling, at any reasonable time, and may ... require any ... animal ... to be produced for inspection, examination, testing or analysis [PHA 58(1)];

  • the sale of turtles of any kind is prohibited, with exceptions for "zoos, universities, or other post second ary educational institutions or to such other persons as the Deputy Minister of Health and Wellness may authorize" [Prevention of Salmonella Infection by the Control of the Sale of Turtles Regulations ('PSICST Regs') 1-2];

  • "(a)nimals other than dogs which are rabid or which have been injured or bitten by or have been exposed to another animal which has been declared to be rabid may be destroyed if a local Board of Health or Medical Health Officer so orders" [Rabies Control Regs (RC Regs) 9].


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