Hon. Gerry Byrne
Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources
Petten Building, P.O. Box 8700
St. John’s, NL A1B 4J6
August 17, 2020
Dear Minister Byrne:
I would like to add my voice to those who have been expressing concerns about people with disabilities gaining access to wild game and to the ability to obtain it.
Hunting is a proud cultural activity enjoyed by many Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. Game is important to the food security of many Indigenous communities and they have a long tradition of storing and sharing the game.
One’s capabilities should not hinder the enjoyment of obtaining wild country food. Given that people with limited mobility are allowed to obtain a big game licence, they should also be able to use a surrogate hunter with no distance limit to hunt game on their behalf. The current rule states that the designated hunter must keep the hunter with a disability within sight or within 800 meters. This is a hindrance to individuals with mobility issues, as many hunting areas are difficult terrain for some of them to negotiate in order to maintain the required proximity to the surrogate hunter.
I ask that you and your Department reconsider this regulation, and consult with people in the respective communities. Let us find ways to provide more opportunities for all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to enjoy country foods no matter the individual’s abilities.
M.H.A., Labrador West