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Laws and Statutes

There are several laws that relate the control of urban wildlife that residents of Ontario and Quebec need to be aware of. The following are the most applicable laws. For a complete description refer to the links provided below.


Ministry of Natural Resources – Wildlife Conflicts


Releasing captured animals

If you live-capture a nuisance animal, within 24 hours you must:

release it in close proximity to where it was caught (up to a maximum of one kilometre) as directed by MNR
if it is sick, injured, or immature, turn it over to a veterinarian or an authorized wildlife custodian, or humanely euthanize it.
In a raccoon rabies “high-risk area”, injured, sick or orphaned rabies carrier species (raccoons, skunks, foxes) can be taken to a wildlife rehabilitator who is authorized by the Ministry to handle them. All rabies carrier species must be released within 1km of their point of origin.

Using an agent

You may hire or ask someone to deal with nuisance animals on your land. The person you hire or ask is your agent and must have authorization from MNR. The following categories of people are authorized by the regulations to act as agents:

a person whose main business is removing nuisance animals (animal control agents as listed in yellow pages) – such as Humane Wildlife Control
a licensed trapper,
an employee or agent of the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) appointed under the OSPCA Act,
a member of your immediate family, and
employees or agents of a municipality whose responsibilities relate to wildlife control.
Other persons may act as agents, but will require individual authorizations before acting in protection of property situations. Contact your local MNR district office regarding this. Specific sections in the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act and Regulations guide farmers who may have to deal with situations of crop depredation by deer.

Note: Pest control companies (i.e. deal with rodents, vermin and insects) may not have as their “main business” the removal of nuisance animals and may not be authorized by MNR to perform such services.

Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act:



29. (1) A person shall not use poison to kill, injure or capture wildlife.


30. (1) A person shall not use adhesives to kill, injure or capture wildlife.

Discharging Firearms

Most municipalities in Ontario have bylaws that forbid the discharge of firearms within city limits. See your local municipality for more information.


An Act respecting the conservation and development of wildlife:


Attacking animals

67. No person nor anyone lending him assistance may kill or capture an animal attacking him or causing damage to his property or property under his care or maintenance unless he is unable to frighten the animal away or prevent it from causing damage.

Animal killed or found

68. In the case provided for in section 67 or in the case of an animal that has been found or an animal that has been killed or captured by accident, a person shall, without delay, in the case of an animal determined by regulation,

1) if it is unharmed and alive, set it free;

2) if it is wounded or dead, declare the fact to a protection officer and, if he requires, deliver it to him so he may confiscate it.