Wildlife Rescue Centre fined for looking after animals first
The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) has fined The Open Sky Raptor Foundation $240 for not having updated its logbook within 24 hours of taking in three injured birds of prey. MNR appeared without warning or notice and although Open Sky offered to update the logbook right away, MNR bluntly refused. [The regulations state "The log shall be updated within 24 hours of any event that the ministry has prescribed as being required in the logbook, or as reasonably possible.]
It appears the MNR wants to set an example. Most of the Wildlife Rescue Centres
in Ontario are run by volunteers and receive no financial support by any level of government. With very limited resources Wildlife Rescue/ Rehabilitation Centres can be overwhelmed by the number of animals coming in. Their first priority should be looking after animals coming in, stabilizing them , looking after any injuries and checking them for parasites .They then catch up on the paperwork. All centres have created intake or admittance forms that records all vital information about the animal, where it was found, who found it, age, type, injuries, if it has been fed etc.
Then some of the information is later transcribed into the MNR log book.
It is interesting that the MNR regularly is very slow on its own paper work. Licence or authorization renewal which are to go out at the beginning of January can arrive 2 to 3 months late. Requesting new log books can take months and questions or special permission on animals at times are never answered . The MNR website of Wildlife Rehabbers has inaccurate information with some information 4 years out of date.
This is the first time a Wildlife Rescue/ Rehabber has ever been fined for paper work timing .This is part of escalating conflict between Wildlife Rehabbers and the MNR . Wildlife Rehabbers have been told they are not allowed to use surrogates ( adult animals used to raise orphans), not allowed to help others, told to kill animals that did not have to be killed ( Pacer the Skunk), cannot take pictures of animals ( TV Ontario),have animals sent to roadside zoos ( Open Sky Raptor ) and can not question the MNR decisions ( no right of appeal).
The solution to this broken system ( regulations of Wildlife Rescue/Rehabbers ) was made by Kathleen Wynne back in 2013. She made several promises to Wildlife Rehabbers including " the right of appeal" and that the MNR would encourage instead of discourage Wildlife Rehabbers. Three Ministers of Natural Resources later, nothing has happened. The Deputy Minister ( top civil servant ) has said no to Wynne's promises and will not even meet with Wildlife Rehabbers.Ontario had over 200 Wildlife Rescue/ Rehabilitation Centres, we are now down to about 60 and still dropping..
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