Howls of protest from conservation groups forces province to rethink a proposal aimed at relaxing hunting protections for wolves and coyotes

Wolves Earthroots

After a public backlash, Ontario has withdrawn from what activists called its “war on predators.”

On April 5, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry quietly posted a notice on its website announcing that it is officially backing off a plan to relax hunting protections for wolves and coyotes.

Back in December, the ministry offered game hunters a Christmas gift of sorts: plans to remove the game seal requirement for wolves and coyotes so that hunters with a small game license would be able to kill two wolves and as many coyotes as they could shoot in a year in northern and parts of central Ontario. There is no limit on the number of small game licenses the province can issue. The stated intention was to protect troubled moose populations.

Hunters celebrated. Environmental and animal welfare orgs howled.

The David Suzuki Foundation warned that the plan “is not supported by science [and] although often scapegoated, predators are rarely the root cause for dropping prey populations. Predators and prey like coyotes, wolves, moose and deer have been part of an intricate food web for thousands of years. If something is out of whack with a prey population, it can likely be traced to humans or disease and not to a sudden decision by coyotes and wolves to supersize their meals.”

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