New Investment Supports Enforcement of Unsafe Hunting Activities: Nesbitt

The Manitoba government is investing $300,000 for new equipment and services to enhance enforcement of illegal night hunting and other unsafe hunting activities, Natural Resources and Northern Development Minister Greg Nesbitt announced today.

“Manitoba’s conservation officers work diligently to ensure public safety and protect Manitoba’s natural resources through various education and enforcement activities,” said Nesbitt. “Our government is making investments to help protect Manitobans and these enhanced enforcement tools help support conservation officers to continue conducting critical work.”

Over the past few years, night hunting activity has increased in rural Manitoba, posing a safety risk to Manitobans, the minister noted. As a result, the Manitoba Conservation Officer Service has increased enforcement operations to address this significant concern.

One of the enforcement tools includes a dedicated helicopter service. The Manitoba government recently signed a three-year contract with Taiga Air Services Ltd. for this service.

“Combined with the dedicated efforts of our conservation officers, aircraft-assisted enforcement is highly successful at combatting illegal night hunting activities, which pose a significant safety risk to Manitobans,” said Nesbitt.

The dedicated helicopter service will allow a greater frequency of flights, more scheduling flexibility and increased specialized equipment, resulting in more charges against poachers who engage in illegal night hunting, the minister added.

Unmarked vehicles are also being added to the Manitoba Conservation Officer Service fleet. In total, 11 new unmarked patrol vehicles will be deployed throughout the province. These vehicles will provide another tool for conservation officers to use as part of operational tactics, ensuring officers are able to continue offering vital resource protection and public safety activities, noted Nesbitt.

Tips from the public provide valuable information for the Manitoba Conservation Officer Service. Anyone with information on illegal activity is asked to call a local Natural Resources and Northern Development office or the Turn in Poachers (TIP) line at 1-800-782-0076 (toll-free).