Government Raid on Wildlife Center 95 Raccoons in JeopardyGovernment Raid on Wildlife Center 95 Raccoons in Jeopardy Oct 3, 2023
Last week 40 to 50 Ministry of Natural Resources (MNRF) Officers and staff raided Mally’s Raccoon Rescue in the Peterborough Area. Mally’s is one of Ontario’s largest rehabilitators of Raccoons. They take in injured and orphaned raccoons, rehabilitate them and release them back into the wild.
Most of the information seized could have been obtained in a normal site inspection by the MNRF, by simply asking.
Wildlife Rescue Centers (Rehabbers) are highly regulated to the point where it is almost impossible to meet all the regulations. Most are run by volunteers and the number in Ontario has gone from over 200 to less than 50.
The scale of this raid was designed to deliver as much drama as possible. A number of other Wildlife Rehabbers are concerned that this was more than a message for Mally’s but a message for other Rehabbers.
Who is next? This the second raid on a Wildlife Rehabber in the last year again with an army of officers, and a bad outcome for the animals.
The enforcement officers rounded up the raccoons at Mally’s and stuffed them it what appeared to be live traps. Many of the raccoons were forcefully jammed into the disproportionately sized trap cages with their hands, feet, noses being tightly pressed against or forced out through the caging. Most were completely immobilized, unable to maneuver into a comfortable position. Some were seized from Isolation Rooms or the Care Clinic and put in with the rest. Kept in deplorable positional conditions with no food or water and exposed for almost the entire 8 hour raid. They left the place, traumatized and screaming in fear. Putting the raccoons into a state of distress is not humane.
There is a major concern that they have been killed or will be killed. It is our understanding that over 90 % of the Raccoons were fully vaccinated, some were on medication, some recovering from sugery, others were being treated for abuse by the public and some were close to being released back into the wilds after having been raised from orphans. Where they are or even if they are still alive is not known. The MNRF has been using the phrase “affected wildlife “which is concerning.
Mally’s is not the first Wildlife Rehabber to be subjected to heavy handed intimidating Government tactics. Over the last 20 years Ottawa Carlton Wildlife, Blue Water, Open Sky Raptor and a number of others .
Wildlife Rehabbers get no support from any level of Government. They are completely dependent on the public for support including volunteers. Ministry of Natural Resources, Provincial Animal Welfare Services and Municipal Governments all want to regulate Wildlife Rehabbers but none want to help.
What can the public do? Write the Minister of Natural Resources and their local MMP that these Raccoons cannot be killed, no excuses. The Government has to stop regulating Wildlife Rescue Centers out of existing and actually support saving wildlife. The public has to stand behind their local Wildlife Rescue Center for the sake of injured and orphaned wildlife.
Ontario Wildlife Rescue (non-profit) also needs volunteer lawyers to fight for Wildlife Rescue Centers. For more information and pictures please contact Sandy Donald Director at www.ontariowildliferescue.ca
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