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Simon Shields,
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Wild Animal Law of Canada

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

Wildlife Act (Saskatchewan)

(current to 15 August 2015)

Note Re Application of the Wildlife Act ('WA')

Saskatchewan's Wildlife Act ('WA') applies broadly to 'wildlife', which are defined as 'vertebrates (excluding fish) that are wild by nature and exist in Saskatchewan, and this includes both exotic (non-native) wildlife and "any part, tissue, genetic material, eggs, sperm, embryos or other forms of developmental life" of such an animal [WA 2]. "For this purpose, 'vertebrate animal' includes any hybrid animal that has an ancestor, within and including four generations, that was an individual of a species that is wild by nature" [E Regs 2(2)]. The WA Regulations apply to all wildlife "wherever found" [W Reg 3(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 the right to hunt, fish and trap in accordance with the law as it exists from time to time" [HFTHA 2(1)]. Such rights existed prior to and without the HFTHA.
This law bears on the wildlife issues of:
  • PROTECTION
  • OWNERSHIP AND POSSESSION
  • SALE
  • ZOOS AND OTHER FACILITIES
  • ADMINISTRATIVE
  • HUMAN HEALTH
  • IMPORT/EXPORT
  • HABITAT
  • EUTHANASIA
  • EXTERMINATION
  • HUNTING AND TRAPPING (though not FISHING)
  • CIVIL LIABILITY

The full current text of this legislation (including regulations) may be viewed at the Saskatchewan statute website.

_________________________

Table of Contents
1. Overview
(a) General
(b) Key Terminology
(c) Licensing
2. Ownership and Possession of Wildlife (Includes Zoos and Other Facilities)
(a) Ownership
(b) Possession of Live Wildlife Generally
(c) Captive Wildlife Licenses and Exemptions
(d) Rules Applicable to Keeping Wildlife in Captivity - Zoos and More
3. General Wildlife Protections
(a) General
(b) Interference with Wildlife and Habitat
4. Species at Risk
(a) Overview
(b) Prohibitions and Provisions re Designated Species
(c) Recovery Plans (for extirpated, endangered and threatened species)
(d) Management Plans (for vulnerable species)
5. Sale and Transfer
6. Import, Export and Relocation
7. Hunting and Trapping
(a) Hunting
(b) Special Area No-Hunting-License Requirements
(c) Hunting Prohibitions and Provisions
(d) Trapping
8. Domestic Game Farms and Canned Hunts
(a) Overview
(b) Domestic Big Game Farms
(c) Application of the Wildlife Act to Domestic Game Animals
9. Civil Liability
(a) Government Compensation for Damage
(b) Duty of Care of Occupiers of Land
(c) Liability of WA Officials
10. Enforcement
______________________________________


1. Overview

(a) General

Other than the fact that 'fish law' is hived off to separate provincial and federal Fisheries Acts (see those modules), and the inclusion of some limited 'species at risk' provisions, Saskatchewan's Wildlife Act ('WA') is a typical provincial fish and game statute. And that means licensing - lots and lots of licensing (and permits) [see (c) below].

(b) Key Terminology

The following terms are key to understanding and applying the WA:
  • 'Wildlife' are defined as vertebrates (excluding fish) that are wild by nature and exist in Saskatchewan, and this includes exotic wildlife (see definition below) [WA 2]. 'Wildlife' also includes "any part, tissue, genetic material, eggs, sperm, embryos or other forms of developmental life" of such an animal;

  • 'Exotic wildlife' are any non-native vertebrate, other than fish, that is "usually found wild in nature in its natural habitat" [WA 2]. Within this definition are included "any part, tissue, genetic material, eggs, sperm, embryos or other forms of developmental life" of such an animal;

  • 'Native' means a wild species that was (1) not deliberately or accidentally introduced by humans and that is (2) either a breeding resident of Saskatchewan or in some manner or degree, existing naturally in Saskatchewan [WA 2];

  • 'Wild' has the same meaning as the common law term, being an animal that is 'wild by nature' (as opposed to domestic) [WA 2];

  • 'Habitat' includes "the soil, air, water, food and shelter components of the environment that are necessary to sustain wildlife and wild species" [WA 2];

  • "Big game" includes pronghorn antelope, black bear, bison (other than domestically raised bison), any member of the deer family (ie. caribou, deer, elk, moose or otherwise) and wolf [W Reg 2(1)(d)];

  • “Fur animal” includes any animal that is wild by nature and whose skin or pelt is commonly used for the manufacture of wearing apparel or rugs and is of marketable value [W Regs 2(1)(m)];

  • "Game" means big game or game bird and includes any part of any big game or game bird [W Regs 2(1)(q)];

  • "Game bird" means a migratory game bird and an upland game bird [W Regs 2(1)(r)];

  • "Game Preserve" means any area constituted as a game preserve by The Wildlife Management Zones and Special Areas Boundaries Regulations, 1990 [W Regs 2(1)(x)];

  • "Migratory game bird" includes any game bird protected by the Migratory Birds Convention Act (Canada) (see the federal MBCA module) [W Regs 2(1)(z)];

  • "Protected area" means a protected area constituted pursuant to section 5 of The Parks Act (see that module) [W Regs 2(1)(ff)];

  • "Provincial park" means a provincial park constituted pursuant to section 4 of The Parks Act (see that module) [W Regs 2(1)(gg)];

  • "Upland game bird” includes ruffed grouse, spruce grouse, prairie chickens, sharp-tailed grouse, sage grouse, ptarmigans, ring-necked pheasants, Gray or Hungarian partridges [W Regs 2(1)(mm)].
(c) Licensing

Like most fish and game statutes, the primary regulatory mechanism of the Wildlife Act ('WA') is that of Minister-issued licenses (in practice these are typically issued by delegates). For WA purposes a license is defined broadly as "a licence, certificate, permit, quota or allocation issued pursuant to this Act or the regulations and includes any seal or corresponding document issued with the licence, certificate, permit, quota or allocation" [WA 2,13].

Licenses are of course required for hunting and trapping, but also for most other depredations upon and uses of wildlife, including [WA 21]:
  • taking any wildlife or wild species at risk for the purposes of propagation, reintroduction, rehabilitation, protection, scientific research;

  • taking any amount of parts, tissues, genetic material, eggs, sperm, embryos or other forms of developmental life of any wildlife or wild species at risk for the purposes of propagation, reintroduction, rehabilitation, protection, scientific research; and

  • conducting surveys, research or other activity to detect or observe any species, wild species or wild species at risk, or assess the habitat of any species, wild species or wild species at risk, for a commercial, scientific, academic, or other purpose.

2. Ownership and Possession of Wildlife (Includes Zoos and Other Facilities)

(a) Ownership

Property in wildlife 'in a state of nature' vests with the provincial Crown, however where an animal is taken with proper WA authority (typically a hunting license) then property vests with the private person who took it [WA 23(1)]. However even (initially) legitimate private title may be forfeited, at the discretion of the Minister, if the owner subsequently "contravenes any of the provisions of this Act or the regulations respecting the wildlife under his or her control" [24(2)].

With hunted and killed wildlife the above is typically as far as the property issue goes, since the animal is then either consumed or wasted. However with most live wildlife there is an additional 'wildlife in captivity' licensing requirement [WA 24(1)] which, if complied with (and if coupled with ongoing possession), preserves ownership over the animal [WA 24(1)], though still subject to the above-noted forfeiture possibility.

The province may "dispose of any wildlife in captivity that is the property of the Crown by sale, donation or destruction or by setting it free" [24(3)].

(b) Possession of Live Wildlife Generally

Some live wildlife (see next) may be possessed without license, however all others may only be possessed with an appropriate WA license [WA 33(2)]. In any event, no wildlife may be legally possessed if it was taken in contravention of the WA regime [WA 33(1)]. To "take into or keep in captivity" any wildlife without license or other WA permission is prohibited [WA 32].

There are additional possession provisions specific to species at risk [see s.4(b)].

(c) Captive Wildlife Licenses and Exemptions

Whether it be in the context of keeping wildlife in a zoo, a wildlife farm, a commercial wildlife farm or the private keeping of exotic pets - wildlife (uness they are exempted from the requirement as noted below) may only be kept in captivity under a 'captive wildlife' license [CW Regs 4(1)].

For these purposes:
  • a 'zoo' is "a location where captive wildlife is held primarily for public display purposes" [CW Regs 2(m)], and though there is no 'zoo' license as such;

  • a 'wildlife farm' is "a place on which wildlife is kept for sale, trade, barter, public exhibition, propagation or scientific purposes or for any other purposes" [WA 2];

  • a 'commercial wildlife farm' is a locations where "wildlife is held for commercial purposes" [W Regs 2(1)(h.2)].
Licenses are not required to hold the following wildlife species in captivity [Captive Wildlife Regs ('CW Regs') 3]:
  • Native Reptilia: All snakes (other than rattlesnakes, eastern yellow-bellied racers, northern red-bellied snakes), eastern short-horned lizards and turtles that have not been reared in captivity;

  • Native Amphibia: frogs, toads and salamanders;

  • Native Lagomorpha: rabbits and hares;

  • Native Insectivora: shrews and moles;

  • Native Rodentia: rodents (other than ord’s kangaroo rat, red squirrels,muskrats, beaver or black-tailed prairie dogs);

  • Miscellaneous Native Animals and Birds: raccoons, crows, magpies, cowbirds, blackbirds, grackles, starlings, English sparrows and common pigeons, and bison that have been reared in captivity;

  • Exotics Birds: finches, macaws, budgies, parrots, cockatiels, parakeets, lovebirds,peacocks, guinea fowl, turkeys, chukar partridges, bobwhite quail andpheasants other than ring-necked pheasants;

  • Exotic Mammals: guinea pigs, rats, mice, gerbils, hamsters and ferrets;

  • Exotic Reptiles: lizards, crocodilians and snakes (other than poisonous or constrictor snakes)

  • Exotic Amphibians: frogs, toads, newts and salamanders.
(d) Rules Applicable to Keeping Wildlife in Captivity - Zoos and More

A range of provisions apply to wildlife in captivity, in whatever facility or manner:
  • Sale and Transfer

    Wildlife that is to be held in captivity may only be obtained from a person holding it under license or with authority of the Director of Fish and Wildlife ('Director') [CW Regs 9].

  • Record-Keeping

    Persons holding wildlife in captivity "shall keep records of where and wheneach particular wildlife item was obtained, the veterinarian’s name and the datethe wildlife was tested for disease", and shall make the wildlife and these records available to a resource officer on request [CW Regs 10].

  • Escape

    No person holding wildlife in captivity shall allow it to "roam free, escape or be released to the wild unless authorized by the director", but if it does escape they must "immediately make all reasonable efforts to restore the escaped wildlife to captivity and report the fulldetails of the escape to a resource officer" [CW Regs 11].

  • Import and Export

    Licenses are required to import or export wildlife (or parts thereof) to and from Saskatchewan, except that the holder of a domestic game farm license may export animals for that purpose without an export license [CW Regs 13].

    Before any wildlife is imported into Saskatchewan, it must be examined by a veterinarian to ensure that it is free from listed diseases [see s.15(3) of the CW Regs], and it shall be held in quarantine for 14 days [CW Regs 15]. The death of such imported wildlife within 30 days of it's acquisition shall be immediatelly reported to a resource officer [CW Regs 16(1)].

  • Where Disease Present or Suspected

    It is prohibited to keep in captivity wildlife known or believed to be diseased. Such wildlife may be quarantined or destroyed by the Director [CW Regs 14].

    It is prohibited to transfer, accept or obtain wildlife in captivity known or believed to be diseased. Such wildlife may be quarantined or destroyed by the Director [CW Regs 14].

    Anyone possessing wildlife in captivity shall immediately report any incidence of disease to the Director [WC Reg 16(2)], and on finding dead wildlife in captivity, where disease may possibly be the cause, shall have it examined by a veterinarian and report the findings to the Director [CW Regs 16(3)].

  • Enclosure Standards

    An 'enclosure' is "a place where wildlife is confined and constructed so that the confined wildlife has no means of escape, and includes pens,fences, shelters and buildings" [CW Regs 2(d)]. Enclosure standards (by species) for wildlife in captivity are set out in ss.18-20 of theCaptive Wildlife Regulation, or "in cases not specified in these regulations, that meets the approval of the director" [CW Regs 17(1)].

    Tethering is prohibited, and the enclosure must consist of an outside run and a shelter [CW Regs 17(2,3)]. For these purposes a 'shelter' means "a building, den, denning box or house that protectswildlife from weather and constructed so that it is waterproof and windproofon at least three sides and the roof" [CW Regs 2(j)].

    Enclosures must at all times be securely locked to prevent public access to the enclosure or the escape of the wildlife [CW Regs 21].

    The Director may allow zoos to use natural barriers in lieu of enclosures [CW Regs 22].

  • Care Standards

    Care standards for wildlife in captivity include, at the discretion of the Director, the following [CW Regs 23]:
    • a fresh and adequate water supply available at all times;

    • a fresh, nutritive, uncontaminated and adequate food supply at least once daily;

    • a sanitary enclosure in an attractive and presentable condition;

    • cleaning of the enclosure regularly as required;

    • cleaning the bathing pool and change or filter the water in the bathing pool regularly as required; and

    • keeping the wildlife in a humane manner.
Note as well that the Animal Protection Act ('APA') (see that module) continues to apply to wildlife held in captivity "for breeding purposes on a wildlife farm, commercial wildlife farm or zoo" [W Reg 27].


3. General Wildlife Protections

(a) General

The following general (ie. non-hunting and non-trapping) prohibitions and provisions apply:
  • it is prohibited to "wilfully destroy or disturb any wildlife, or the eggs or nests of any bird protected pursuant to this Part or the regulations or pursuant to the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 (Canada)" without license or other WA authorization [WA 32];

  • any destruction (euthanasia) of wildlife shall be accomplished in as painless and humane a manner as possible [CW Regs 24].
(b) Interference with Wildlife and Habitat

No person may "interfere with any wildlife or place of habitation of any wildlife protected" under the WA or the Migratory Birds Convention Act ('MBCA') (see that federal module) [W Reg 6(1,2)], unless:
  • holding a license authorizing such activity;

  • they are a wildlife officer capturing or killing wildlife for scientific study, killing "any injured or diseased wildlife or any wildlife considered a threat to public safety", or capturing or killing "any domestic game farm animal that has escaped from a domestic game farm and poses a threat to wildlife or wildlife habitats" [W Regs 6.2(1)].
For these purposes, 'interfere' means to "provoke, capture, hold, collect, kill, hunt, remove, damage, destroy, molest, or harass" or to "conduct surveys, assessments, research or any other activity to detect or observe" [W Regs 2(1)(x.3].

No person shall, without a licence for the purpose, destroy or alter any wildlife habitat within a game preserve, road corridor game preserve, wildlife refuge, wildlife management unit, regional park, provincial park, protected area or recreation site [W Regs 30.1].


4. Species at Risk

(a) Overview

"Wild species at risk” are native wild species designated and listed by the provincial Cabinet as follows [WA 2,48-49]:
  • 'extirpated' are those "that no longer exists in the wild in Saskatchewan, but exist in the wild outside of Saskatchewan"

  • 'endangered' species are those "threatened with imminent extirpation or extinction";

  • 'threatened' species are those that are "likely to become endangered if the factors leading to [their] endangerment are not reversed";

  • 'vulnerable' species are those that are "of special concern because of low or declining numbers due to human activities or natural events but that is not endangered or threatened".
The individual species at risk are listed here in Schedules to the Wild Species at Risk Regulation ('WSARR Regs').

(b) Prohibitions and Provisions re Designated Species

The first three of the above categories (extirpated, endangered and threatened) are also referred to collectively as 'designated species' [WA 45]. Specific prohibitions and protections apply to designated species, as follows [WA 51(1,2)]:
  • it is prohibited to "kill, injure, possess [see exception below], disturb, take, capture, harvest, genetically manipulate or interfere with or attempt to do any of those things to any designated species";

  • it is prohibited to "export or cause to be exported from Saskatchewan any designated species";

  • it is prohibited to "traffic in any designated species".
These prohibitions are excepted where the activity is done under license or in conjunction with a 'recovery plan' (see below).

Possession of any live species at risk is allowed where any of the following apply [51(3)]:
  • the person had lawful possession of the animal at the time of it's designation (grand-parenting);

  • the person legally imported the animal into Saskatchewan

  • the person is acting "on behalf of, a museum, zoo, educational institution, scientific society or government and the person acquired it from a person who was entitled to possess it" under this s.51(3) exception (above).
Where of the opinion that it is necessary to "remove, capture, kill or destroy any wild species at risk" in order to protect human health and prevent property loss, the Director of Fish and Game may issue a license to do so [WA 52].

It is prohibited to "disturb the den, house, nest, dam or usual place of habitation of any" extirpated species, subject to doing so under license where the animal "is causing or is likely to cause damage to property" [WSARR Regs 5].

(c) Recovery Plans (for extirpated, endangered and threatened species)

Designated species may be subject of 'recovery plans', which are Ministerial documents "that outline() specific steps to be taken for the recovery and conservation of designated species" [WA 45].

Recovery plans are intended to protect each designated species they apply to [WA 50(1)], and if formulated, they [WA 50(2,3)]:
  • are required to identify the needs of and threats to the species or its habitat;

  • are required to identify the viable status needed for recovery of the species;

  • are required to identify the options for the recovery of the species;

  • are required to identify the costs and benefits of the above options;

  • are required to identify a course of action or a combination of actions for the recovery of the species;

  • may include provisions respecting one or more designated species;

  • may include provisions respecting ecosystem management.
The Minister may determine the priority with which any recovery plan or any portion of a recovery plan will be implemented [WA 50(4,5)], in accordance with the following factors:
  • whether scientific evidence indicates that the designated species mentioned in the recovery plan is naturally becoming extirpated;

  • whether it is technically or economically feasible to recover the designated species; and

  • the status of the designated species elsewhere.
(d) Management Plans (for vulnerable species)

Vulnerable species may be subject of a 'management plan', which is "a statement of requirements, and specific steps to be taken, to prevent a vulnerable native wild species ... from being at increased risk" [WA 45,50(8)].


5. Sale and Transfer

In relation to wildlife, 'traffic' means "to offer for sale, expose for sale, sell, buy, barter, exchange,deal, solicit or trade, or advertise for the purpose of doing any of those things" [WA 2].

Trafficking in wildlife (or possessing them for that purpose) without a license is prohibited, with exceptions for (1) dead animals and parts thereof and for (2) those animals which may be hunted without a license [see s.7(b) below] [WA 44, W Regs 50(1)(c)].

There are additional trafficking provisions specific to species at risk [see s.4(b)].


6. Import, Export and Relocation

Exporting wild animals from, or importing them to Saskatchewan, or releasing or introducing any wild animals into Saskatchewan - is illegal without appropriate authorization [WA 31].

Generally though, the authority to export specific wildlife is included in the license required to hunt the animal in the first place, and holding a license for taking wildlife in other provinces is authority to import that animal into Saskatchewan [see W Regs 51 for full details].

There are additional import/export provisions specific to species at risk [see s.4(b)] and wildlife in captivity [see s.2(d)].


7. Hunting and Trapping

(a) Hunting

'Hunting' is defined in the WA as including: "taking, wounding, killing, chasing, pursuing, worrying, capturing, following after or following on the trail of, searching for, shooting at, trapping, setting snares for, stalking or lying in wait for any wildlife, or attempting to do any of those things, whether or not the wildlife is then or subsequently captured, wounded or killed". 'Taking' means taking dead or alive [WA 2].

(b) Special Area No-Hunting-License Requirements

Outside of "game preserves, road corridor game preserves, wildlife refuges, wildlife management units, regional parks, provincial parks, protected areas or recreation sites", the following species may be hunted without a license [W Regs 4(1)]:
  • reptilia (snakes and turtles) other than rattlesnakes, bullsnakes, hognosed snakes, smooth green snakes, eastern yellow-bellied racers, northern red-bellied snakes, short-horned lizards and snapping turtles;

    Reptilia may not be hunted for commercial purpose [W Regs 4(3)].

  • amphibia (frogs and salamanders), other than great plains toads and northern leopard frogs;

    Amphibia may not be hunted for commercial purposes, nor used as bait for angling [W Regs 4(3)].

  • lagomorpha (rabbits);

  • insectivora (shrews);

    Insectivora may not be hunted for commercial purposes [W Regs 4(3)].

  • rodentia (mice and rats), other than red squirrels, muskrats, black-tailed prairie dogs, Ord’s kangaroo rats and, subject to subsection (2), beavers;

  • mephitidae (skunks);

  • procyonidae (raccoons);

  • icteridae (blackbirds), other than rusty blackbirds, bobolinks, Baltimore orioles, Bullock’s orioles, orchard orioles and western meadowlarks;

  • passeridae (house sparrows);

  • sturnidae (starlings);

  • columbidae (pigeons and doves), other than band-tailed pigeons, mourning doves and white-winged doves;

  • corvidae (crows, magpies and jays), other than blue jays, gray jays, Clark’s nutcrackers and ravens;

  • domestic game farm animals with respect to which a domestic game farm operator holds a valid licence pursuant to The Domestic Game Farm Animal Regulations;

  • wild boar;

  • captive wild boar held by a captive wild boar producer.

    For this purpose, a 'captive wild boar' means "a wild boar that is raised in captivity for the purpose of producing animal products as defined in The Animal Products Act, is contained within a fence for this purpose, and is under the immediate, continuous and effective control of its owner [W Reg 3(2)(a.1)].

  • beavers, in rural municipalities that have passed a bylaw allowing beavers to be hunted and filed a certified copy of the bylaw with the director [W Regs 4(2)].
(c) Hunting Prohibitions and Provisions

The following rules apply to hunting activities:
  • carrying a firearm in a locality where any wildlife may reasonably be expected to be found is, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, proof of hunting [WA 30];

  • taking more than the bag limit per day is prohibited and upon that occurence, or upon reaching the seasonal bag limit, that hunting license is automatically forfeited [WA 36];

  • discharging or handling of a firearm during hunting without "without reasonable consideration for persons or property or without due care and attention" is prohibited [WA 38];

  • hunting "while intoxicated or under the influence of a narcotic or alcohol" is prohibited [WA 39];

  • hunting on private land properly marked against it is prohibited [WA 41];

  • no person shall, directly or indirectly, sell, trade or barter or offer for sale, trade or barter the hunting rights for wildlife on any land [WA 43];

  • the use of poison, traps, snares for the destruction or capture of game or wild boar, without a license, is prohibited [W Reg 7(1)];

  • hunting or carrying while hunting "drugs, narcotics, poisons or tranquilizers", without a license, is prohibited, with exceptions for "rodents other than red squirrels, Ord’s kangaroo rats, muskrats, beaver and black-tailed prairie dogs" [W Regs 7(2)(c)];

  • hunting with automatic firearms, without a license, is prohibited [W Reg 7(2)(c)];

  • hunting with any night-vision device or firearms silencer, without a license, is prohibited [W Reg 7(2)(c)];

  • hunting is prohibited from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise [W Reg 11(1)];

  • search lights may not be used in hunting (ie. no jacklighting) [W Reg 11.1(2)];

    For these purposes, a 'search light' means "a spotlight, flashlight, jacklight, nightlight, headlight or any other light that casts a beam of light, and includes night vision scopes and goggles" [W Regs 2(1)(jj.2)].

  • hunting within 500 metres of an occupied building without the consent of the owner is generally prohibited, with some exceptions [W Regs 13];

  • it is prohibited to use a "vehicle or a power boat" for " chasing or pursuing any wildlife, for disturbing any wildlife, for driving any wildlife towards hunters or for injuring or killing any wildlife" [W Regs 14];

  • it is prohibited, without the consent of the land owner or occupant, to "dig a pit or other excavation or leave it open, set or employ traps, set out bait for the hunting of big game or wild boar, wilfully cause damage to crops, livestock or property, or to set out food or offal for the purpose of attracting wildlife." [W Regs 18(1)];

  • it is prohibited, while hunting big game, to kill female black bears with young of the year cubs at heel [W Regs 18(2)];

  • with exceptions, hunting big game on Crown or provincial park land with the use of bait is prohibited [W Regs 18.1(1)];

  • without a license to do so, hunting wild boar with the use of bait of prohibited [W Regs 18.1(1.1)];

  • where using bait to hunt big game is allowed, it is subject to technical and seasonal restrictions [W Regs 18.1(3)-18.41];

  • except for licensed wild boar hunting, the use of dogs in hunting big game, or allowing them to run at large in areas where big game is usually found, is prohibited [W Regs 19];

  • dogs found chasing big game may be killed without incurring any liability [19(2)];

  • Saskatchewan residents may hunt coyotes without a licence [W Regs 36(5)].
(d) Trapping

The following rules apply to trapping:
  • licenses are required to use snares except for rabbits or squirrels, fur animals under ice and "mechanically activated foot snares set in a manner to ensure that the fur animal is captured by the foot" [W Reg 24(1)];

  • interference with legally placed traps and snares is prohibited [W Reg 24(2)(b)];

  • it is prohibited to use foot traps set in water for beaver, otter, mink or muskrat, unless the trap is set so that the animal drowns when caught [W Regs 24(2)(c)];

  • it is prohibited to set traps equipped with serrated teeth or jaws [W Regs 24(2)(e)];

  • it is prohibited to set spring-pole sets on poles or trees unless the trap is set in a manner to kill the animals with reasonable dispatch [W Regs 24(2)(g)];

  • it is prohibited to use on land anything other than a certified restraining trap foot-hold trap (where available) for the live-capture and restraint of a fur animal, and the trap must be set in a manner that will kill the animal with reasonable dispatch [W Regs 24(2)(i)];

  • it is prohibited to use anything other than a certified body-gripping trap for "coyote,wolf, beaver, bobcat, otter, lynx, marten, fisher, badger, ermine, least weasel, long-tailed weasel, muskrat or raccoon" [W Regs 24(2)(k)];

  • time limits for checking traps for fur animals are set out in the Wildlife Regulation at s.24(3) (they vary from 24 to 120 hours depending on location);

  • without a license, the use of traps equipped with serrated jaws or teeth for taking animals is prohibited [W Reg 7(2)(c)]
.
8. Domestic Game Farms and Canned Hunts

(a) Overview

This section addresses the business of offering farmed and domesticated big game animals to the public for killing. For purpose of this wildlife law guide I consider these to be domestic animals, but due to the similarity of the activity with hunting, I include it here nonetheless.

(b) Domestic Big Game Farms

In the Animal Products Act, which is primarily directed at regulating the cattle industry, Saskatchewan has also passed into force the Domestic Game Farm Animal Regulations ('DGFA Regs'). These regulate allowed farming of native big game animals such as antelope, caribou, reindeer, elk, moose, mule deer and white-tailed deer (and hybrids of these deer), and non-native species such as fallow deer, bighorn sheep, American thinhorn sheep including stone and dall sheep, mouflon sheep, musk deer and mountain goat [DGFA Regs 2(b)].

The holder of a domestic game farm license may under that license also allow the 'hunting' of domestic game farm animals on the farm [W Regs 4(4)]. This is what is commonly referred to as a 'canned hunt' and can barely be considered hunting in the traditional sense, though the killing does meet the narrow WA definition of 'hunting'. It amounts to the recreational slaughter of domesticated big game animals [including captive wild boar: W Regs 4(4.1)].

No hunting license is required for this activity [W Regs 4(1)(m)], and it is also exempt from the WA's possession, trafficking and bag limit provisions [W Regs 4(5-6)].

Similar private commercial killing of captive-reared ringneck pheasants is allowed by holders of commercial wildlife farm licenses [these are any locations where "wildlife is held for commercial purposes": W Regs 2(1)(h.2)] [W Regs 4(7)].

Animals may be obtained for use in domestic big game farms from other license-holders, from legal importation and under a WA license to capture live big game (issued under the WA's Captive Wildlife Regulation) [DGFA Regs 9].

(c) Application of the Wildlife Act to Domestic Game Animals

Domestic game farm animals, including captive wild boar, are exempt from several WA provisions, including the requirement for a license to hunt escaped game farm animals, and the prohibition against hunting at night [W Reg 3(3)].


9. Civil Liability

(a) Government Compensation for Damage

The Minister may provide compensation to any person suffering property loss or damage caused by wildlife, wild species at risk or hunters, or insure persons against that risk [WA 10].

(b) Duty of Care of Occupiers of Land

Persons who occupy land owe no duty of care to hunters on that land other than (1) not to create a danger with the deliberate intent of doing harm or damage to the person, and (2) not to to do a wilful act with reckless disregard of the presence of the person [WA 42].

(c) Liability of WA Officials

"(T)he minister, the director, any wildlife officer or deputy wildlife officer, the Crown or officers and employees of the Crown" are immune "for any loss or damage suffered by a person by reason of anything in good faith done, caused, permitted or authorized to be done" in the exercise of their powers or duties under the WA [WA 77].


10. Enforcement

The Minister may appoint 'wildlife officers' ('WOs') for purposes of enforcing the Act. Police officers and other peace officers are automatically wildlife offices [WA 2,6].

WOs have the general powers of peace officers (eg. arrest, entry onto land, search and inspection) and are broadly exempt from WA provisions that prohibit anyone to "kill, injure, possess, disturb, capture, harvest, take or interfere with any wild species at risk" [WA 53,54.1,56-59].

The WA has a broad prosecutable offence provision [74-75].

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