Changes to the Wildlife Act

As some may know, the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia passed, in April 2008, Bill 29, which contains several amendments to the Environmental (Species And Public Protection) Statutes that regulate the dealings and relationships between humans and wildlife in British Columbia. This legislation had remained untouched for several decades and was in severe need of revision.

The amendments (found online at the official website of the Legislature) include amendments to the Wildlife Act that introduce a new definition of wildlife and a concept of controlled alien species, that is, exotic animals or plants that are non-native to BC and are reputed to be dangerous to the public or the environment. To this purpose the Minister of the Environment is called, if he or she deems so, to compile a list of controlled alien species and regulate the keeping, management and circulation of the species within such list.

As there existed no regulation altogether in BC with respect to the keeping of exotic animals whichever their size, requirements or dangerousness, the Minister is in the process of compiling a list of exotic species to be controlled. The list should be ready around Sping 2009 and the Ministry of the Environment has been noticeably open both with consulting citizens and interest groups and receiving their suggestions.

The WSPCR submitted its own set of suggestions concerning reptiles within the regulations.

This document represents our Society's official position on the subject.


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