Officers See Record Number of Violations in 2015
Director of Communications
Department of Justice and Public Safety
Tuesday, February 02, 2016
Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Officers of the Department of Justice and Public Safety had a particularly busy year in 2015 in their efforts to ensure that people in Newfoundland and Labrador enjoyed the province's natural resources in a safe and legal manner. Also during 2015, officers continued to be engaged in community events such as the Law Enforcement Torch Run, Special Olympics, numerous Christmas parades and toy drives, community cleanups, and frequent visits and presentations to schools, youth and user groups.
"Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Officers regularly work
around the clock in some of the most challenging and uncomfortable
conditions imaginable. Their efforts, dedication and work ethic are
to be commended as they strive to protect the province's abundant
natural resources while also ensuring that those who participate in
outdoor activities do so safely and legally. I also welcome their
efforts to become more visible in the community through their work
with charities such as the Special Olympics."
- The Honourable Andrew Parsons, Minister of Justice and Public Safety and Attorney General
Officers, with the assistance of hundreds of tips from the public, took action on more violations than ever in 2015. In total, 1,499 violations were noted representing a 26 per cent increase over 2014 (when there were 1,191 violations) and a 96 per cent increase over 2013 (when there were 763 violations). Particularly concerning to officers were:
- An increase in the number of firearms violations. The 271 incidents recorded in 2015 resulted in charges for incidents such as carrying a loaded firearm in a vehicle and discharging a firearm from a highway;
- The 152 violations related to moose hunting were almost double the number from 2014 when there were 77 violations recorded by officers.
The Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Division remains committed to ensuring the public's safety through the enforcement of all-terrain vehicle and snowmobile legislation. The scale and frequency of ATV-related injuries in children, youth and adults continues to be a concern and since 2004, those numbers have continued to rise, with an overall increase in the hospitalization rate for all age groups.
"We wish to thank the residents of Newfoundland and
Labrador for continuing to report suspected illegal activity and
helping to protect the province's valuable fish and wildlife
resources. All residents have a role to play in guaranteeing that
these resources can be enjoyed for current and future generations
of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians."
- Hayward Taylor, Acting Director, Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Division
The public plays an increasingly important role in assisting officers in carrying out their duties. In 2015, the Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Division received nearly 600 public complaints via its Report Poaching 24/7 telephone line and website. Tips or complaints can be provided anonymously and toll-free at any time of the day, by calling the Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Division at-1-877-820-0999 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS. Anonymous online reports can also be submitted atwww.stoppoaching.ca .