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ISSUES - Wildlife Rehab Crisis
 
Wildlife Rehab Crisis
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!  MNR regulations force closure of Wildlife Centre
 

On Dec. 31, 2002 the Ottawa Carleton Wildlife Centre closed following a four-month battle with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.  Half way through the wildlife season the MNR imposed a 1 km release restriction for all wildlife in Ontario and disallowed rehabilitation of rabies vector species (raccoons, skunks, foxes) in a large part of eastern Ontario, including Ottawa. These restrictions made it impossible to offer a humane and responsible wildlife rehabilitation service and have resulted in the loss of a valuable world-class community service.  More on the closing of the OCWC.
Click for an outline of the issues.
 

Take action:  The public is outraged over MNR regulations that require orphaned and injured wild animals to be killed in Ontario. Take action to reinstate a progressive wildlife rehabilitation service in Ontario.  Click for details.

Current Alert

March 6/06
Letters needed!  New wildlife rehabilitation regulations approved by Ontario government deny humane care for wildlife. Click to send your letter to the Ontario government.

Click for past alerts on this issue.
 

 
Issues

Call for an inquiry into MNR's mismanagement of wildlife rehabilitation in Ontario

Challenging unworkable wildlife rehabilitation regulations

 

News
Click here for all news items related to the wildlife rehab issue

Letters
Click here for published letters

Summary of events
  • The MNR introduced new release restrictions in the summer of 2002 that makes it impossible to offer responsible wildlife rehabilitation in this province.
     
  • The MNR misinformed the public that raccoon rabies was moving closer to Ottawa as a justification for expanding the high risk rabies zone here last July, when according to its own data, the disease was actually moving further south and southwest. More on raccoon rabies in Ontario.
     
  • The MNR seized healthy vaccinated animals from the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre in September 2002.  Information on 40 seized animals
     
  • The MNR took these animals to the Codrington research facility near Peterborough and kept them in cages and in conditions that violated international standards for humane wildlife rehabilitation.  View Minimum Standards for Wildlife Rehabilitation document   236K PDF.
     
  • The MNR refused requests to have independent sources examine the condition of these animals.
     
  • Former Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre staff petitioned an Ontario court in April 2003 to have these animals returned for a brief period of rehabilitation.
     
  • The judge in that case, while having to turn down this application on a legal technicality, said that he still believed it would be in the best interest of these animals to be returned to the wildlife centre for rehabilitation.
     
  • In early May, 2003 the MNR released these animals into an area where rabies is prevalent, and where it is trapping and killing raccoons, skunks and foxes.  More on OMNR's raccoon rabies 'depopulation' program.
     
  • In September, 2003, Ontario Liberal party calls for an inquiry into government's closure of Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre.  Details.
     
  • May, 2004: For the second year Ottawa Humane Society must kill sick, orphaned wild animals brought in. Full story
     
  • Dec. 15, 2004: Ontario government is proposing changes that will virtually eliminate wildlife rehabilitation in Ontario. Full story.
     
  • October 19, 2005: McGuinty government approves regressive regulations. Ontario's orphaned and injured wildlife denied humane care by David Ramsay, Minister of Natural Resources.  Full story

      Click for complete news coverage of the wildlife rehab crisis issue
     

What can I do?

Take action!   Ontario's wildlife need your help!  Keep this issue alive and take action to stop the indiscriminate killing of orphaned and injured wildlife that would otherwise be treated, rehabilitated, raised and released to enjoy a full normal life.

Send a strong message to your provincial MPPs (include the opposition critics for MNR) and municipal councillors that the MNR restrictions and resulting closure of the Ottawa Carleton Wildlife Centre is unacceptable! 

Click here for address lists of newspapers / politicians  and things you can do to help!

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Credit: John Kenney, Canwest

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