Province Introduces Wildlife Amendment Act to establish safer hunting
| The Manitoba government introduced Bill 29, the wildlife amendment act (safe hunting and shared management), which would create a safer and
more ethical hunting environment for all Manitobans, Sustainable Development Minister Rochelle Squires announced on May 16.
“We have seen deaths, serious injuries and far too many close calls as a result of unsafe night hunting practices in Manitoba,” Squires said. “We
also know blinding an animal in the dead of the night for the purpose of an easy kill is neither safe nor sustainable.”
Some practices of night hunting, particularly spotlighting – a practice that shines a bright light into an animal’s eyes to paralyze it – would
be regulated under this bill, added Squires. The bill would regulate night hunting to ensure the sustainability of Manitoba’s big game population.
In addition to redefining night hunting, this bill would ensure that for the third year in a row the government would be increasing resources and
providing better tools to the province’s conservation officers to keep Manitobans safe from dangerous and illegal hunting practices, the minister
The bill would take into account and respect the constitutionally protected right of Indigenous hunting at night, while balancing the priorities of public safety, ethical treatment of animals and conservation, Squires said, adding the proposed legislation was prepared after extensive consultations
Chartrand said the MMF is concerned about the contradictions between its own ban on night hunting in southern Manitoba and the new bill presented by the province.
Chartrand said the MMF is open to consultations with the province, but he thinks the issue will likely go to court.
“Litigation is going to come out of this. And it didn’t have to be that way,” said Chartrand. “I am hoping there’s still a way to salvage this. I don’t know how, but hopefully there’s a way.”
Ralph Eichler, PC MLA for Lakeside, said there have been several recent reports of’ spotlight hunting in the area leading up to the presentation of the new bill, including one north of Stonewall, one near Woodlands and two north of Teulon.
Eichler said Indigenous communities have been involved in the consultation process for the proposed legislation and that this relationship will be ongoing.
The consultation process will also consider sustainable hunting practices and the well-being of wildlife, said Eichler.
“We hope that we have that open conversation to ensure that there’s wildlife for the next generation as well,” he said.