Why does Ontario want more penned hunting compounds?


The Ontario government’s proposed expansion of hunting dog training and trialing compounds (penned hunting) is another nonsensical and disturbing wildlife use development that should not be supported by anyone, including hunters who consider themselves ethical. The expansion of dog training and trialing compounds is included as just one of dozens of legislative changes on a variety of issues in Bill 91, Less Red Tape, Stronger Economy Act, 2023 .

Repeated chasing (hunting) of coyotes and other animals confined in compounds, even when escape opportunities are provided, is an insidious and cruel practice. After one session of being hunted, coyotes and other other animals will understand they are being hunted and will experience physical trauma and exceptional psychological distress while being chased, but they’ll have no relief when it stops because they’ll experience anticipatory stress waiting for it to happen again. It’s a nightmare scenario for the animals.

The Mike Harris conservative government moved to stop and eventually phase out penned hunting years ago, but the current Ontario government is saying they want to prevent the practice from going underground by entrenching its status in law and allowing it to expand.

The government’s argument is absurd. You don’t sanction an outdated, cruel practice and legally entrench it for decades to come because some participants may flout the law. You stop it and deal with offenders that don’t follow the rules. As well, the Ontario government and enforcement personnel already have their hands full, so the last thing they need is a bunch more penned hunting compounds that they don’t have the ability to comprehensively monitor.

If you find this Ontario government move as objectionable as we do, please contact your own Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) and let them know you oppose this step back into the dark days of wildlife exploitation.

TAKE ACTION! (from Coyote Watch Canada)

The province is asking for feedback on these changes in a public consultation period until May 18, 2023. It’s important to submit comments to prevent these cruel facilities from expanding.

Follow these steps to provide feedback:

1. Click this link to go to the consultation page: https://ero.ontario.ca/notice/019-3685
2. Click the blue ‘Submit a Comment’ box on the left side
3. You have the option to register for an account or submit a comment anonymously. If you do not wish to register, click the blue ‘Comment without registering’ box.
4. Enter your comment on the next page

It’s best to submit comments in your own words, but as guidance you can include some of these points in your submission:

  • I firmly reject the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry’s proposal to allow new licenses and the transfer of licenses for train and trial areas in Ontario.
  • Penned dog hunting facilities are cruel to the wild animals that are subjected to various methods used to train dogs to hunt.
  • Wildlife should never be taken from their natural environments and held captive by hunters. It’s especially cruel to use rabbits, coyotes, and foxes as pawns for hunters to train dogs and hold competitions.
  • Opening applications for train and trial spaces after 25 years is a massive step backward into the past. These facilities have no place in Ontario.
  • Instead of opening new applications, the province’s existing 24 facilities need to be closed immediately.

For more information, visit Coyote Watch Canada.

Link to CBC article about this issue.