Province Protects Moose Population from Poachers

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The Ontario government reports the 2004 Moose Watch program was a success with 660 charges laid and double the number of calls to the anti-poaching tip line, Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay announced today.

“The public is using the ministry’s Moose Watch tip line to help us combat poaching,” said Ramsay. “While 98 per cent of the hunters our officers contacted were obeying the law, Moose Watch helps us crack down on the other two percent.”

The 2004 Moose Watch program resulted in:

* 597 calls from the public (including 305 to the Moose Watch tip line - up from 152 in 2003)

* 660 charges for illegal hunting and fishing activities, down 10 from 2003

* 89 illegally hunted moose being seized, down from 125 in 2003

* 75 abandoned moose being discovered, down three from 2003

* 363 charges pending related to illegal hunting, down from 474 in 2003

* 1,193 warnings issued, and

* 313 investigations into illegal hunting and fishing activities.

“Moose Watch is an important part of the ministry’s fight again poaching,” said Ramsay. “By asking hunters and the public to watch for and report any illegal activity, we’re encouraging responsible hunting and sustainable wildlife populations for future generations.”

Moose Watch encourages hunters and the public to call a toll-free line 1-866-34MOOSE (346-6673) to report poaching and other illegal hunting and fishing activities. Conservation officers investigate all calls. Now in its fifth year, the ministry’s program is a co-operative effort with the Ontario Provincial Police and Crime Stoppers.