BC increases Wildlife Act fines

A scenic view of a British Columbia landscape.
Photo by Oleg Charykov / Getty Images

Violations of British Columbia’s Wildlife Act will lead to increased fines according to an announcement by the province this week.

The Wildlife Act is the legislative framework for hunting, trapping, and angling, as well as other wildlife-related activities and regulations. The province’s statement indicates that fines for violations have “not been substantially updated in more than two decades.”

The new fines range from $345 to $1,495, an increase from $115 to $575. Offences with increased fines include:

  • Unlawful possession of big game animals or endangered/threatened species,
  • Hunting wildlife defined as big game during a closed hunting season,
  • Unlawful trapping, hunting, and angling,
  • Hunting without a license,
  • Operating a motor vehicle in an area where motor vehicles are prohibited,
  • Damage to wildlife habitat,
  • Attracting dangerous wildlife (bears, coyotes, wolves, cougars),
  • Illegal trafficking of wildlife, and others.

Increased fines are a positive step forward in protecting wildlife and wild spaces. However, for these fines to be effective the BC Conservation Officer Service must be staffed appropriately, have third-party oversight, and ensure ancillary offenses – like those related to feeding wildlife or attractants – are also prioritized.

The Fur-Bearers will continue to monitor this development. View the list of updates fines by clicking here.

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