Amendment to O. Reg. 666/98 (Possession, Buying and Selling of Wildlife) under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1997 to prohibit possession in Ontario of certain parts of moose and caribou killed in other jurisdictions, to help minimize the risk of entry of Chronic Wasting Disease into Ontario
O. Reg. 666/98 (Possession, Buying and Selling of Wildlife)
Regulation - LGIC
Bill or Act:
Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act
Summary of Decision:
A decision was made to proceed with the proposal. The proposal was implemented by an amendment to O. Reg. 666/98 (Possession, Buying and Selling of Wildlife) by Regulation 324/10. This regulation was filed by the Registrar of Regulations on August 17, 2010 and published in the Ontario Gazette on September 4, 2010.
Specifically, the following changes were made: The amendment expands the definition of “cervid” in Section 1 of the current regulation to include moose and caribou. As a result, Part II.I of the regulation which prohibits the possession in Ontario of certain high risk carcass parts of those cervids that have been killed in other jurisdictions now also applies moose and caribou transported into Ontario.
September 15, 2010
Summary of Proposal:
Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) has not been found in Ontario and continued vigilance is required to minimize the risk of it inadvertently being transported here. In 2005, the Ministry of Natural Resources consulted with the public on the development of the Ontario Chronic Wasting Disease Surveillance & Response Plan. Prevention is a cornerstone of this plan.
CWD is a degenerative, fatal brain disease that affects certain members of the deer family, including white-tailed deer, elk, and moose. The disease is believed to be caused by abnormal proteins called prions, which are concentrated in certain body parts, including the brain, spinal column and eyes. CWD is in the same family of diseases as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or Mad Cow Disease). There is no evidence to date that CWD can be transmitted to humans or to domestic livestock such as cattle. There is a significant risk to wild Ontario deer, elk, and moose if CWD enters Ontario as the disease is fatal in these species and there is no cure.
One potential pathway for the spread of CWD is from movement of infected parts of carcasses into Ontario that could spread the infective prions into the environment. Those parts that are considered to be high risk because they contain concentrations of the prions include the head, spinal column, lymph nodes, eyes, spleen, mammary glands, entrails, internal organs, and unprocessed antlers, hides or hoofs.
On November 17, 2005, the Ministry of Natural Resources posted a Regulation Exemption Notice on the Environmental Bill of Rights Registry (EBR Registry Number RB05E6806) regarding an amendment to O. Reg 666/98 (Possession, Buying and Selling of Wildlife) under the Fish & Wildlife Conservation Act, 1997. This amendment prohibited the possession in Ontario of certain high risk carcass parts of deer and elk from other jurisdictions to prevent the introduction of CWD to Ontario.
At the time of the initial regulation, moose and caribou were generally not considered a risk of CWD transfer. However, since that time, wild moose in Colorado and Wyoming have tested positive for CWD. In addition, recent scientific evidence indicates that caribou may be susceptible to infection by CWD.
Based on this new scientific evidence, an amendment to O. Reg 666/98 (Possession, Buying and Selling of Wildlife) under the Fish & Wildlife Conservation Act is being considered. An amendment would expand the definition of “cervid” in the current regulation to include moose and caribou. If amended, the regulation would prohibit the possession in Ontario of certain high risk carcass parts of moose and caribou from other jurisdictions.
Hunters will still be allowed to bring deer, elk, moose, and caribou meat and other parts, such as antlers, into Ontario if the parts are properly treated to minimize the risk of CWD transfer.
Senior Regional Wildlife Biologist
Ministry of Natural Resources
Wildlife Policy Section
300 Water Street
PO Box 7000
August 17, 2010