Harass, capture or kill a wild animal damaging private property
What you can do if a wild animal is causing damage to personal property.
Effective July 1, 2013.
You don’t need a permit to scare away, capture or kill most wild animals, if the animal is causing damage to your property.
You do need to follow certain rules.
Special rules apply to:
- endangered/threatened species
- white-tailed deer
- American elk
- black bear (capturing)
You can also use someone else to remove the animal for you, if they meet certain criteria. This person is considered a “wildlife agent”.
This is a summary of the provincial laws. You can find a complete set of rules related to this activity in:
- Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1997
- Ontario Regulation 665/98 (hunting)
Species at risk
Special rules apply for endangered or threatened species. You can only keep a protected species under very limited circumstances (e.g., for scientific and education purposes).
Protected species are listed on the Species at risk in Ontario list. Please contact a local Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry (NDMNRF) office for more information about the rules.
Who can be a wildlife agent
If you use someone else to remove the animal, they must meet at least 1 of these criteria:
- have a valid H1 Outdoors Card only to harass or kill wildlife but not to capture wildlife
- have a valid trapping licence
- be employed to control wildlife by a municipality
- be an Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals agent or employee
- be your immediate family member
- be a person that runs a wildlife removal business, but only to capture and release (not kill) the problem wild animals
- be authorized by the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry
Rules for removing animals
You or your agent must:
- abide by all municipal by-laws and other applicable laws
- not harass, capture or kill more wildlife than is necessary to protect your property
- deal humanely with wildlife that is killed, captured or harassed
- restrict activity to your property
- not destroy the den of a furbearing mammal or a black bear without approval from NDMNRF. Requirement for approval does not apply to fox or skunk dens
- release captured live wildlife within 24 hours
- release captured live wildlife within 1 kilometre of where they were captured
- release wildlife on private property only with the landowner’s permission
Wildlife agents can only act, if the landowner of the property asks them to. Property owners or their agents may dispatch captured wildlife if they do not cause unnecessary suffering.
Injured or orphaned wild animals
If you capture sick, injured or orphaned wildlife, take the animal to someone who is authorized to rehabilitate it.
White-tailed deer and American elk
You — or someone acting on your behalf — cannot harass, capture or kill white-tailed deer or American elk that are damaging your property, without special approval.
Contact a local Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry district office for more information.
Moose and woodland caribou
You — or someone acting on your behalf — cannot harass, capture or kill a moose or woodland caribou to protect your property from damage.
If you kill a black bear — anywhere in Ontario — you need to report the dead bear to the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry.
If you wish to capture a live black bear, special authorization is required from NDMNRF.
Wolves and coyotes
If you kill a wolf or coyote in most parts of central and northern Ontario (Wildlife Management Units 1-42, 46-50 and 53-58) you must report the dead wolf or coyote to the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry.
Tips for preventing damage
You should take steps to prevent conflict:
- remove attractants (e.g., unsecure garbage bins, bird feed/seed, fallen fruit)
- eliminate possible denning sites (e.g., openings under decks)
- eliminate sources of drinking water