Hastings Highlands Information Portal

Due to the large number of information requests about exotic animal issues in Hastings Highlands, this portal has been created as a resource. It contains Municipality of Hastings Highlands and County of Hastings Council and Committee information, media stories, materials regarding Roaring Cat Retreat and Ringtail Ranch, as well additional, relevant supplementary material regarding Ontario’s laws and regulations, and exotic animal husbandry and safety.


Councilor Walder Notice of Motion – March 17, 2021 – referring exotic animal bylaw template for professional legal advice
Sylvia Jones letter to Mayor Vic Bodnar March 1, 2021
Letter submitted to Nov 18 Council meeting
Letter submitted to Nov 18 Council meeting
Letter submitted for Nov 18 Council meeting
Letter submitted for Nov 18 Council meeting
Letter submitted for Nov 18 Council meeting
Letter submitted for Nov 18 Council meeting
Hastings Highlands Council Item 26. Nov 18 2020 Legal Opinion re Safari Experience
Media-Release Nov 18, 2020, Exotic Animals in Hastings Highlands
Hastings Highlands Council Motions from Nov 18, 2020 In Camera Session


Council considers seeking legal advice on county’s bylaw template Bancroft This Week, March 16, 2021
Hastings County pushing province to enact exotic animal rules Qunite News, March 16, 2021
Hastings County completes Exotic Animal Bylaw Template Bancroft This Week, Feb 23, 2021
County offers HH support with developing exotic animal bylaw Bancroft This Week, Jan 27, 2021
Exotic animal bylaw being considered for Highlands East The Echo, Jan 27, 2021
Highlands East to reign in exotic animals Toronto Star, Jan 21, 2021
Roadside zoos threaten public safety, says Zoocheck Bancroft This Week, Jan 4, 2021
Hastings County creating exotic-animal bylaw template Belleville Intelligencer, Dec 15, 2020
Big cats and by-laws Madawaska Valley Current, Dec 14, 2020
Big cat owners address community’s concerns The Bancroft Times, Dec 9, 2020
Community voices opposition to use of exotic animals for entertainment The Bancroft Times, Nov. 25, 2020
Tigers and Lions in Rural Ontario HYBLA MINUTE podcast (Nov 17, 2020)
Their zoo dreams spurned, Grand Bend’s big cat couple set their sights on a new town (CBC News, Nov 13, 2020)
Big cat owners move to Maynooth after fight with Lambton Shores (My Bancroft Now, Nov 13, 2020)


Hastings County Agenda Dec 15 2020 – Planning and Development Committee Report to County Council
Report to Planning & Development Committee – Exotic Animals – Dec 15, 2020
County Council Agenda (Item 3. a. & d.) resolution on exotic animals, Jan 30, 2014
County of Hastings Minutes – 30 Jan, 2014 (Items 3. a. & d. – voted and CARRIED)

COUNTY OF HASTINGS (Exotic Animal Bylaws)

Township of Carlow/Mayo By-Law No. 04-2009
Town of Bancroft By-Law No. 05-2014
Municipality of Tweed By-Law No. 2008-40
City of Quinte West By-Law No. 14-90
City of Belleview By-Law No. 13694
Municipality of Center Hastings Deputy Clerks Q1 Report April 2020 (Item 12 – In Process – exotic animals)
County of Prince Edward By-Law No. 1976-2007 (on southern border of County of Hastings)


Decision Justice J.A. Desotti Superior Court of Justice Dec 31, 2019, Municipality of Lambton Shores and Mark Douglas Drysdale and Tamara Roanne Nyyssonen, Roaring Cat Retreat
Municipality of Lambton Shores By-law 31 2019 (Exotic-Animals)


‘They would roar and roar’: Grand Bend residents glad to see exotic animals ordered out (CTV, June 1, 2020)
Roaring Cat Retreat braces for the possible seizure of big cats by town officials (CBC, Feb 4, 2020)
Cat Retreat Owner Responds to Online Video (Strathroy Today, January 14, 2020)
Court documents reveal what town officials won’t say publicly about Roaring Cat Retreat (CBC, Nov 26, 2019)
A pair of lion cubs escaped from Roaring Cat Retreat in Grand Bend (CBC, Nov 1, 2019)


Niagara Region Public Health information regarding Ringtail Ranch, Wainfleet scratching and biting incidents (2016-2018)
Lion found wandering on Wainfleet Road Hamilton Spectator Nov 29, 2017



Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act (Ontario)
Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act Standards of Care and Administrative Requirements
Wild Animals and Strict Liability, The African Lion Safari Case (2015) Commentary


Wild Neighbours, The Safety and Security of Ontario’s Wildlife in Captivity Facilities (2010)
Husbandry Guidelines for the Tiger (2006)
Lion (Panthera leo) Care Manual (2012)
Zoo & Aquarium Safety: Example Practices, Example Policies and Procedures for an Effective Occupational, Health, Emergency Management and Safety Program (2015)
Tiger (Panthera tigris) Care Manual (2016)
Standards for Exhibiting Carnivores in New South Wales (2016)
Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries Standards for Felid Sanactuaries (2018)
Management and Conservation of Captive Tigers, Policies for Managing Tigers (1994)
WAZA Guidelines for Animal Visitor Interaction (2020)
Dangerous Animals in Captivity: Ex Situ Tiger Conflict and Implications for Private Ownership of Exotic Animals (2003)


Canadian Veterinary Medical Association
American Veterinary Medical Association


Lion found wandering on Wainfleet Road Hamilton Spectator Nov 29, 2017
Lion shot dead after escaping Papanack Zoo enclosure CBC Feb 29, 2016
Lion escape: lack of provincial regulation is the big problem, says Zoocheck Ottawa Citizen, March 1, 2016
Lion nearly makes clean getaway from Guha’s Huntsville Forester, Aug 15, 2012
Why the mystery of Muskoka’s escaped cougar many never be solved Toronto Star, Aug 5, 2012
Ontario man killed by tiger he kept on his property CTV News, Jan 10, 2010
Panther warning sounded in south Niagara Niagara This Week, Oct 21, 2008
Willy the bear’s no-so-great escape Globe and Mail, Aug 9, 2007
Tiger attack costs Ontario game park $2.5 million Globe and Mail, Jan 28, 2005
Escaped lions put on show in Ontario neighbourhood prowl has peaceful ending Buffalo News Aug 16, 1994