OFA provided comments to Environment and Climate Change Canada on the proposal to amend Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act (SARA) for Eastern Wolves. OFA is concerned that uplisting the Eastern Wolf from Special Concern to Threatened could result in general protections and prohibitions under the SARA could be extended to private land through a Minister’s order.
Robust protections already exist in Ontario for the Eastern Wolf through the provincial Endangered Species Act, 2007. OFA is not supportive of legislation that is duplicative and burdensome.
Predation of livestock presents a significant challenge for Ontario’s livestock farmers. Farmers rely on the ability to protect their livestock from predators. If the provisions under the SARA are extended to private lands, farmers could lose the ability to protect their livestock from Eastern Wolves, thus threatening livestock production sustainability and profitability.
OFA urges the federal government to consider the implications to livestock production and mitigation measures should the Eastern Wolf be classified as Threatened under the SARA, and the provisions be extended to non-federal land. Should the uplisting of the Eastern Wolf occur, OFA requests an exemption from the protection and prohibitions under the SARA for the Eastern Wolf be created for areas where active agricultural operations occur.