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Press Release

For immediate release – December 22, 2004

Christmas
Ministry of Natural Resources style!

  • The season of good will:  Ministry staff are aggressively and negatively targeting wildlife rehabilitators - the people who help injured, sick or orphaned wild animals and who volunteer their time and offer a free and valuable service to communities all over Ontario.
     
  • The season of compassion:  Ministry staff have tabled regulations, that will prevent wildlife rehabilitators from  helping all wildlife in need, in a humane and effective way, as established through decades of international experience in developing effective, and humane wildlife rehabilitation.
     
  • The season of caring:  Ministry staff wants caring people who find injured and orphaned wildlife to take the animals to a veterinarian or the Ministry to be killed.

“I believe that the work of wildlife rehabilitators in teaching respect and understanding for wildlife threatens the Ministry’s unsupportable fear-mongering campaign about wildlife and rabies,”  said Donna DuBreuil, President of the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre.  “The fear-mongering is needed to justify the multi-million dollar rabies budget for a disease that is the lowest public health risk in North America.

“Despite all the Ministry’s fear-mongering, Ontarians support wildlife rehabilitation,” said Liz White, spokesperson for the Ontario Wildlife Coalition.  “Evidence of this support is demonstrated by the thousands of people who donate to and use the service and by the two years of sustained public protest when Ministry staff started to overtly target rehabilitators.”

“I have reviewed the new proposed Ministry rules governing rehabilitators,” said Barry MacKay, Canadian Representative for the Animal Protection Institute.  “Ministry attitudes towards rehabilitators has changed very little since I was involved over 15 years ago.  The Ministry’s negative attitude and disregard for rehabilitators is evidenced by the EBR posting of the wildlife rehabilitation regulation10 days before Christmas and by the Ministry’s lack of consultation with the broader rehabilitation community.”

The Ontario Wildlife Coalition calls upon the Minister of Natural Resources to:

  • withdraw the regulations now posted on the EBR;
     
  • implement internationally recognized wildlife rehabilitation standards; and
     
  • establish a cooperative and supportive working relationship with wildlife rehabilitators across the province.

For further information please contact Liz White, Ontario Wildlife Coalition, 416-462-9541 (w), 416-809-4371 (cell),  Donna DuBreuil, Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre 613-282-3755 (cell) or Barry MacKay, Animal Protection Institute, 905-472-9731 (w)

 

 
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