Response from Premier McGuinty

Coyote seen near Milton Road, Feb. 20 2011 On February 9, 2011, I wrote to Premier Dalton McGuinty voicing my opposition to the coyote-killing contests being held in Eastern Ontario. I finally received a response on April 14, 2011. 

The response is a typical form letter, and doesn’t really address my concerns about the contests being held to encourage the wide-scale destruction of these animals.  The email does say that the government is “not considering a cull” and that “enforcement officers will continue to carefully monitor coyote hunting in the province to ensure that hunters are following the law”.  It is clear the Premier doesn’t understand why this issue is so upsetting to animal and nature lovers and people who value biodiversity and ecological balance more than appeasing hunters, farmers and land owners.

I think it’s time to write again.

April 14, 2011
Thank you very much for your online message regarding coyote hunting.
Your concerns are important to me, and I welcome the opportunity to

My colleagues and I recognize that coyotes are an important part of
Ontario's ecosystem. We also understand that, like other wild animals,
coyotes sometimes come into conflict with humans.

Coyote populations are driven primarily by the availability of food and
habitat - often found in developed suburban areas. It is therefore not
unusual for these animals to take up residence in suburban, in addition
to rural, areas - which may be distressing for Ontarians concerned about
their own safety, the safety of their family and that of their pets.

Since there are no sustainability issues, it is legal for licensed
hunters to hunt coyotes year-round in most parts of Ontario. That
includes farmers, who are permitted to protect their livestock against
coyote attacks. Similarly, landowners also have the right to protect
their property.

I want to assure you that our government is not considering a cull,
bounty or provincewide coyote hunting initiative. Ministry of Natural
Resources enforcement officers will continue to carefully monitor coyote
hunting in the province to ensure that hunters are following the law. My
colleague the Honourable Linda Jeffrey, Minister of Natural Resources,
and I are confident that these officers will use their discretion and
take appropriate action to ensure compliance with the Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Act.

I am grateful to you for bringing your concerns about this issue to my
attention. Thank you again for sharing your views, which I value.

Dalton McGuinty
Premier of Ontario

c: The Honourable Linda Jeffrey

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