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BILL NO. 24

                                                        Government Bill

       
                                                                         
                  3rd Session, 56th General Assembly
                              Nova Scotia
                         44 Elizabeth II, 1995

       
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                         
                      An Act to Amend Chapter 504
                    of the Revised Statutes, 1989,
                           the Wildlife Act










       
                                                                         
                                                                         
                    The Honourable Donald R. Downe
                     Minister of Natural Resources


       
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                       
       
                                                                         
                                Halifax
              Printed by Queen's Printer for Nova Scotia
                                   
                                   
                           Explanatory Notes








         Clause 1 permits an owner or occupier of forest land to post a sign prohibiting trapping,
without permission, on the land where the owner or occupier wishes to limit the use of the land
or encourage trappers to obtain permission.


         Clause 2 provides that where a conservation officer has reasonable and probable grounds
to believe that a dog is running at large in a wildlife habitat, the conservation officer may order
the owner to confine the dog or order the owner to destroy the dog.  At present, the conservation
officer can only act if the dog is harassing wildlife in a wildlife habitat.


         Clause 3 provides that no person shall, without a permit, destroy, take, possess, buy or
sell any egg of a bird or turtle or use a snare, net or trap to take any bird.  At present, this
protection only applies to game birds.


         Clause 4 increases the maximum fine for certain offences from $800 to $3,000 and
includes protection for wildlife management areas.


         Clause 5 adds regulation-making authority which is necessary as a result of the
amendment contained in Clause 1.



                       An Act to Amend Chapter 504
                     of the Revised Statutes, 1989,
                            the Wildlife Act



         Be it enacted by the Governor and Assembly as follows:


         1  Chapter 504 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Wildlife Act, is amended by adding
immediately after Section 38 the following Section:

              38A  (1)  In this Section,

                        (a)  "forest land" means forest land as defined in Section 15 of the
                   Protection of Property Act; and

                        (b)  "occupier" means occupier as defined in the Protection of
                   Property Act.

                   (2)  Notwithstanding Section 15 of the Protection of Property Act, where an
         occupier of forest land posts notice in writing by means of a sign prohibiting trapping,
         without permission, on the forest land, no person shall trap wildlife on the forest land
         without the permission of the occupier.

                   (3)  A sign referred to in subsection (2) shall include the name and
         telephone number of the occupier or, where regulations are passed respecting the posting
         of forest land, the occupier shall post the land in accordance with the regulations.

                   (4)  Every person who, without legal justification, the proof of which rests
         upon the person asserting justification, removes a notice posted by an occupier is guilty
         of an offence.

                   (5)  Every person who, not being an occupier of forest land or acting on
         behalf of the occupier, posts a notice on forest land is guilty of an offence.

                   (6)  It is a defence to a charge pursuant to subsection (2) that the person
         charged reasonably believed that the person had permission of the occupier to trap on the
         forest land.

                   (7)  It is a defence to a charge of trapping without permission that the
         person was unable to see or understand the notice referred to in subsection (2).

                   (8)  Nothing contained in this Section restricts or shall be deemed to restrict
         the availability of injunctive relief or any other civil remedy for trespass to property that
         is otherwise available and, where the occupier has not posted the forest land in
         accordance with this Section, that fact alone does not imply permission of the occupier to
         enter upon the forest land for the purpose of trapping.

                   (9)  In this Section, trapping does not include the snaring of snowshoe hare.


         2    (1)  Subsection 41(2) of Chapter 504 is amended by

                   (a)  striking out "which" in the second line; and

                   (b)  striking out "is harassing wildlife" in the third line.

              (2)  Section 41 of Chapter 504 is further amended by adding immediately after
subsection (4) the following subsection:

                   (5)  The owner of a dog shall not allow the dog to run at large in a wildlife
              habitat.


         3    Section 51 of Chapter 504 is repealed and the following Section substituted:

              51   Except with a permit issued by the Minister, no person shall

                   (a)  destroy, take, possess, buy or sell any egg of a bird or turtle or disturb
              the nest of a bird or turtle; or

                   (b)  use a snare, net or trap to take any bird.


         4    Subsection 111(2) of Chapter 504 is amended by

              (a)  adding "or 15" immediately after "14" in the third line;

              (b)  striking out "five hundred" in the sixth line and substituting "two thousand";
         and

              (c)  striking out "eight hundred" in the last line and substituting "three thousand".


         5    Subsection 113(1) of Chapter 504, as amended by Chapter 9 of the Acts of 1993, is
further amended by adding immediately after clause (y) the following clause:

              (ya) respecting signs and the posting of signs for the purpose of Section 38A;