Canadian Wildlife Welfare and Legislation: Where Does It Start and End?
American Association of Zoo Veterinarians Conference 2011
Carin Wittnich, DVM; Michael Belanger; Nesime Askin; Luke Tan
Oceanographic Environmental Research Society, Barrie, ON, Canada


Dealing with the various levels of governmental bureaucracy is normally very complicated and usually convoluted in Canada. Working within the area of wildlife rehabilitation or management requires that an organization or individual become aware of a huge amount of federal and provincial legislation that has been instituted. When invoking wildlife legislation, a governmental agency rarely seeks counsel from those who are given the responsibility to look after the welfare of wildlife. These organizations constantly have to make daily decisions dealing with euthanasia, impact of urbanization on the species involved or keeping wildlife in captivity among many others. Veterinarians are often involved in wildlife rehabilitation as many constantly offer their services for free or at cost.

The topic of Canadian wildlife legislation at all levels (federal, provincial, municipal) will be briefly described and examined as to how they affect the many wildlife organizations or individuals caring for wildlife in captivity. Regulations or areas of responsibility are often complicated by where the jurisdiction of one level of government ends and another begins. As well, legislation often singles out species who have been designated as endangered or threatened which often leads to veterinary care, treatment protocols or rehabilitation management for those which would not be afforded to a species that is considered to be common or a ‘nuisance’. The practical application of the various legislation will be described using actual cases or examples of complicated governmental legislation.


Speaker Information
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Michael Belanger
Oceanographic Environmental Research Society
Barrie, ON, Canada

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