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Your Wildlife Habitat

Regulations for Protecting Your Property from Wildlife


If you believe that animals are damaging or are about to damage your property you do have some rights, but you should first learn what the regulations permit because the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act provides some protection for animals too. In general, you can capture, kill or harass animals to prevent them from harming your property, with a few exceptions:

  • You may not capture, kill or harass a moose, caribou or elk.
  • You may not capture, kill or harass a white-tailed deer, unless you are in possession of a Deer Removal Permit issued by MNRF.
  • You may not damage or destroy the dens of furbearing mammals unless you are a licensed trapper. This rule does not apply to the dens of foxes or skunks.
  • You may not destroy or take the nests of eggs of wild birds, except for American crows, brown-headed cowbirds, common grackles, house sparrows, red-winged blackbirds or starlings.
  • You may not capture, kill or harass endangered species.
  • You may not cause unnecessary suffering to any wildlife.

Any animal captured must be released humanely within 24 hours, unless you kill it humanely. It must be released within one kilometre from where it was captured unless otherwise directed by MNRF. If it is injured, sick or immature it must be turned over to a vet or some other authorized wildlife custodian. It is illegal to keep wild animals without a license.

If you hire someone to deal with problem wildlife on your property, this person must be authorized by MNRF. Those authorized include:

  • A licensed trapper
  • An employee of the OSPCA
  • A member of your immediate family
  • A person whose main business is problem wildlife removal
  • Municipal employees whose responsibility is wildlife control

Other people may act as agents but will require individualized authorization available through your local MNRF office.

For a more detailed overview of this section of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, please read Section 31: Ontario’s Fish & Wildlife Conservation Act. For migratory birds please see Permits Respecting Birds Causing Damage or Danger under the Migratory Birds Convention Act.