Damage control licences and permits

Property owners and leaseholders can apply for a damage control licence to address certain species of wildlife that are causing damage.

Damage Control Licences

As a property owner, leaseholder or disposition holder, you can apply to Fish and Wildlife Stewardship for a damage control licence (DCL) to deal with certain species of wildlife that are causing damage to property or posing a threat to human safety. A DCL may be issued by Environment and Protected Areas for the lethal control of specific wildlife that is causing, or is likely to cause property damage, or pose a threat to human safety. DCLs will not be issued to capture and transport or relocate wildlife, to control nuisance wildlife, or to control wildlife at a population level.

To apply for a DCL you must contact a nearby Environment and Protected Areas Office to obtain and submit a Client Information Form.

Proactive implementation of best management practices to reduce conflict with wildlife is encouraged. To obtain information on best management practices and strategies contact your local wildlife biologist.

Find a Wildlife biologist contact by selecting the Wildlife contact District on the map:

  • Conditions and Restrictions

    All conditions of a licence must be followed.

    A damage control licence specifies:

    • Type of animal that can be taken under the licence.
    • Method for taking the animal (for example: trapping).
    • Period of time the licence is valid. A licence is typically valid for 1 month, however longer time periods can be requested, and may be approved if appropriate.

    Some restrictions of the damage control licence:

    • On privately-owned land, an applicant must be the owner or occupant of the land listed on the damage control licence, and the licence must be issued in that person's name.
    • On leased public land, the DCL must be issued to an Alberta resident who is the lease holder/disposition holder. If a company holds the disposition/lease, an employee of the company must hold the DCL.
    • If the work authorized under the DCL will be completed by someone other than the DCL holder, those individuals must be identified and included as a condition of the licence.
    • A damage control licence cannot be issued to manage migratory birds. Requests for these activities should be directed to the Canadian Wildlife Service.
    • A damage control licence can not be issued to control ungulates that are causing damage to crops, property or stored feed.
    • A report stating the number and species of animals taken must be submitted no later than 10 days after the expiry of the licence.
  • Exemptions

    Under the Wildlife Regulation, A DCL is not required in the following circumstances;

    • A person employed by a municipality under contract of services and whose duties include the control of animals that cause problems may hunt beaver, coyote, red fox, badger, red squirrel and muskrat within the boundaries of a city, town, village or summer village if the hunting is performed in the course and falls within the scope of that employment (Wildlife Regulation 143/97 Schedule 1(13). This authorization includes the use of traps.
    • If the animal causing the damage is classified as a non-licence animal, you do not need a licence to remove it from your property; however, you should contact a Fish and Wildlife officer for advice on the legal methods that can be used.

Migratory Bird Damage Permit

A Fish and Wildlife officer can issue migratory bird damage permits to those who would like to remove or scare away ducks or geese causing crop damage.

  • Conditions and Restrictions

    Some restrictions of the migratory bird damage permit:

    • The applicant must be a resident of Alberta.
    • The person receiving the permit can name other people to help remove or scare away the ducks or geese. That person must carry the permit when they are acting under its authority.
    • The ducks or geese can only be shot on or over the fields identified on the permit.
    • The ducks or geese cannot be shot within 50 metres of water.
    • Decoys, calls, blinds or other concealments cannot be used.
    • A report stating the number and species must be submitted to the office issuing the permit no later than 15 days after the permit expires.

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