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In recent months, the Ontario Provincial Government has proposed Bill 136 – otherwise known as the Provincial Animal Welfare Services (PAWS) Act. This act is intended to replace the current OSPCA Act. In the PAWS act there is reference to prohibitions on animal fighting which has raised some concern for the falconry community. Although the intention of this prohibition is for dog fighting, there may be some push back when it comes to the ethics behind Falconry. To ensure there is no confusion, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) will be submitting comments on behalf of the Ontario Hawking Club (OHC) to clarify Falconry as an exemption.

Although any activities permitted under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act (FWCA) 1997 will still be accepted once the PAWS act comes into play, it is crucial that the falconry community exercise and present a positive image as our ability to practice falconry is a privilege that could be taken away if unethical behaviour is shown.

The OHC stresses that presenting a positive image of hunting on Social Media is also important. Some falconer’s only post “grab and grin” photos online which focus only on the kill. Individually, these photos can be construed the wrong way by those not in the falconry community. If all aspects of the hunt are shared, we can create a better understanding of why falconers do what they do. Showing the way the meat is used, always showing respect for the animal in life and death, and taking photos of successful hunts in the animal’s natural habitat are just some of the ways you can maintain a positive image of hunting online.

At Hawkeye, all of our falconry practices are done ethically and in accordance with all laws, rules, and regulations. All of our birds of prey are housed in accordance with the facility guidelines set out by the OHC. If you’d like to find out more about Falconry, we offer a wonderful educational experience where you can visit our birds of prey up close and personal and even fly one of our Harris Hawks’ right to your fist. You can book your Falconry Experience by calling (416) HAWKEYE.

If you would like to find out more information about Bill 136 please visit https://www.ola.org/en/legislative-business/bills/parliament-42/session-1/bill-136.