Decision Date: February 28, 2020
Panel: Darrell Le Houillier
Keywords: Wildlife Act – s. 19; Permit Regulation – s. 2(aa); Hunting Regulation – s. 18(1)(l); permit; hunting; disability; pack animal
Peter Forino appealed a decision of the Deputy Director, Wildlife and Habitat Branch (the “Director”), Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, denying Mr. Forino’s application for a permit authorizing him, as a physically disabled person, to be assisted while hunting by having a pack goat carry his hunting gear and carry out wildlife meat. The Director denied the permit on the basis that none of the permits available under the Permit Regulation to accommodate hunters who have a physical disability applied to Mr. Forino’s circumstances. The Director also considered that it is an offence under the Hunting Regulation to hunt while accompanied by, or using, a pack goat.
Mr. Forino appealed the Director’s decision. He asked the Board to create a new type of permit so he could have a goat carry his gear while hunting and pack out wildlife meat. Alternatively, he asked for an exemption from the law that prohibits using a pack goat while hunting. In the further alternative, if the law needed to change to accommodate his circumstances, he asked to be directed to who could change the law. Mr. Forino submitted that it is legal to use his pack goat to carry food, water and clothes while hiking on Crown land, and it makes no sense that the goat’s presence is illegal if it is carrying hunting equipment or wildlife meat. He also submitted that a veterinarian could certify that his pack goat is free of diseases that could affect wild goats and sheep.
The Board found that section 2(aa) of the Permit Regulation provides authority to grant a permit authorizing a physically disabled person to be assisted while hunting by having a “hunting companion” to “track, kill and retrieve big game wounded by the disabled person”. Given that Mr. Forino’s goat lacked those capabilities, this type of permit did not apply to his circumstances. The Board concluded that the Permit Regulation would need to be amended to create a new type of permit that could accommodate Mr. Forino’s request. However, the Board has no authority to amend regulations.
In addition, the Board found that even if such a permit could be issued, it would conflict with section 18(1)(l) of the Hunting Regulation, which makes it an offence for a person to hunt while accompanied by, or with the use or aid of, a goat. The Board noted that it would be absurd for the regulatory scheme to allow a permit to be issued for an action which is also an offence.
The Board suggested that Mr. Forino may write to his local MLA and/or the Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development regarding his request that the law be amended.
Accordingly, the Board dismissed the appeal.