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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C.– MP for Prince George–Peace River–Northern Rockies Bob Zimmer, along with other MPs committed to protecting outdoorsmanship, are celebrating the reversal of the US Department of Agriculture’s import ban on hunted wild game birds.

The Parliamentary Outdoor Caucus, of which Zimmer is a co-chair, is a group of MPs that seek to “entrench” hunting, trapping, fishing, and shooting sports as in law as “acceptable, traditional, environmentally-sustainable outdoor heritage activities.” 

The Caucus wrote a letter to the department protesting the ban on September 9th. It voiced frustration with a lack of consultation and the ugly economic impact the ban would have on tourism, guide and outfitter industries north of the border.

The original ban on imported wild game was put in place to limit “the risk of transmitting highly pathogenic avian influenza,” according to a statement from the US Department of Agriculture.

“HPAI is an extremely infectious poultry disease spreading throughout North America, primarily by wild birds,” the statement continued.

In the letter, Zimmer and his co-chairs note that waterfowl migrate across borders without the influence of hunters anyway, and make the “ban essentially ineffective for its stated purpose.”

The ban was replaced with a series of conditions, including packaging and cleaning rules, that unprocessed hunter-harvested wild game birds must meet to cross the border on September 12th.

“This decision will not only provide American hunters with clear guidelines when returning to the United States, it will also help to ensure Canada’s outdoor tourism industry, including our hunting guides and outfitters, have a successful season after years of economic hardship due to COVID restrictions,” the caucus said in a statement.

“On behalf of Canada’s Parliamentary Outdoor Caucus, we want to thank all those who brought this issue to our attention. It is gratifying to see this conclude with a common-sense decision to reverse the blanket import ban,” the statement continued.

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Grace Giesbrecht

Grace Giesbrecht is a news reporter for EnergeticCity.ca who recently graduated from Trinity Western University with a bachelor of arts in Media + Communications. She was born and raised just outside of Fort St. John. She began reporting for her university’s student newspaper and interned with Ottawa Life Magazine where she developed a passion for asking questions, telling stories, and the written word. In her free time, you can find her drinking coffee, snowboarding, or reading novels.