FREDERICTON (GNB) – The Exotic Animal Task Force presented the provincial government with their report today providing recommendations regarding the management of exotic animals in New Brunswick.

The Department of Natural Resources has accepted all of the recommendations and will create a committee to implement them.

“I thank everyone who worked on the task force,” said Bruce Dougan, chair of the Exotic Animals Task Force and manager of the Magnetic Hill Zoo in Moncton. “I believe we produced a report that will help strengthen laws and regulations for the province. I also thank everyone who provided us with their invaluable input and advice.”

The report contains 29 recommendations, including:

  • The creation of an implementation committee to develop a policy and process for communicating the roles and responsibilities of all agencies involved in the care and control of exotic species in the province and to guide the implementation of the recommendations in the report.
  • The immediate, province-wide inspection of all sites involved in the public display, retail, research and scientific study, and commercial farming of exotic animals.
  • The establishment of inspection standards containing frequency and inspection criteria for all categories of exotic animal stakeholders and the inclusion of the work plans of enforcement staff and managers.
  • That the members of the New Brunswick Veterinary Medical Association be made aware of the list of exotic animals permitted in New Brunswick and of their requirement to report any animal not on the list to the Department of Natural Resources.
  • The development of a comprehensive public education initiative that addresses the laws, associated dangers, species that are legal to own, and the challenges of owning an exotic species animal.
  • The establishment of an advisory committee with a mandate including, but not limited to, the periodic review of the exempted list (exotic animals allowed without a permit) found in regulation under the Fish and Wildlife Act.
  • The establishment of a mechanism that allows law enforcement officers to issue tickets in response to incidents of offences related to exotic animals.

“Our government is committed to ensuring that New Brunswickers live in the safest communities possible,” said Natural Resources Minister Denis Landry. “We thank the Exotic Animals Task Force for their hard work and dedication on this matter, and we look forward to working with stakeholder groups and New Brunswick residents to implement their strategic recommendations.”

The Exotic Animals Task Force was struck in 2014 with a mandate to:

  • review existing provincial legislation, regulations, programs and policies that pertain to the import, export, possession and trade of live exotic animals in New Brunswick;
  • identify gaps and weaknesses that pertain to public safety and human health; and
  • produce a report that contains specific recommendations as to how the management and control of exotic animals can be modified to address gaps related to public safety, human health and animal welfare.