Charity permit applications will be accepted by regional Canadian Wildlife Service offices after the Migratory Birds Regulations, 2022, come into force on July 30th 2022.
The Charity permit was established with the objective of reducing waste of migratory game birds, including murres. Charity permit holders and nominees may possess preserved migratory game birds and murres for the following purposes:
- to serve at a soup kitchen
- to be given to clients of a food bank
- to serve at a charitable event related to migratory bird conservation where any profits gained as a result of the event are used to protect or conserve wildlife
Application and record keeping forms
The service standard for Charity permit applications is 90% of decisions made within 40 calendar days or 20 days before the permit is required, whichever is later.
Charity permits are free of charge and are valid until the expiry date indicated on the permit or December 31 following the date it was issued if no expiry date is listed on the permit.
Submit applications to the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) office in the region where the activity will take place. Contact information for regional CWS offices is found below.
Who can apply
The applicant may be an employee or volunteer of a charitable organization. However, individuals applying for a Charity permit do not need to be affiliated with an organization or registered charity to obtain a Charity permit (i.e. fundraisers can be organized by individuals as long as they can fulfill the permit holder’s obligations)
Responsibilities of a Charity permit holder
A Charity permit holder who is serving migratory game birds or murres at a fundraising event must ensure that the event is related to migratory bird conservation, and that any profits made are used to protect or conserve wildlife. Fees may not be charged for the meal itself where migratory game birds or murres are served, although, in the case of fundraising dinners, there may be a charge for the event. Permit holders must ensure that all permit conditions are met, including record-keeping requirements. As well, they must make sure that these permits are on-site during the activity.
A Charity permit holder may only accept or possess legally harvested and preserved migratory game birds and murres. Only preserved birds may be served at a fundraiser or soup kitchen meal, or be given out to clients of a food bank. A migratory game bird is considered preserved when it is:
- eviscerated and plucked in any location and then is frozen, made into sausage, cooked, dried, canned, or smoked in a location other than the hunting area; or
- in a location other than the hunting area, had its edible portions removed from its carcass and then is frozen, made into sausage, cooked, dried, canned, or smoked.
Reporting and record keeping requirements
Charity permit holders must keep records of:
- the number of each species of preserved migratory game birds and murres received in each calendar year
- the full name and contact information of the individual who took each migratory game bird or murre
- the number of the permit under which it was killed.
If the preserved migratory game bird or murre was served as part of a charitable fundraising dinner, the permit holder must maintain records of:
- all expenditures and revenues of the event
- the manner in which the profits were used until the first anniversary of the fundraiser.
Accepting migratory game birds and murres
Holders of a Charity permit may only accept the donation of a preserved migratory game bird from a Migratory Game Bird Hunting (MGBH) permit holder, a Damage or Danger permit holder or an individual who is exercising their Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982 right to harvest migratory birds.
Migratory game birds and murres eligible to be given and accepted for the purposes set out in the charity permit must satisfy the following criteria:
- birds are preserved before being given/accepted
- birds taken under the authority of a permit are not listed under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) unless the Minister indicated on the permit that such a gift is authorized
- birds for which there is an open season in Canada
- birds that have been taken under the authority of
- A MGBH permit (Migratory game bird hunting permit);
- A Damage or Danger permit to kill; or
- Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982 rights.
Since murres continue to count in an individual’s possession limit even when preserved, the holder of a Charity permit may not exceed the possession limit of this species.
The Migratory Game Bird Hunting Regulation summaries are annual one-page summaries of the hunting regulations for each province and territory. Any migratory game bird with an open season in Canada, except for a species listed under SARA, can be accepted by a Charity permit holder. The possession limit for murres may also be found in the regulation summary for Newfoundland and Labrador. For more information on the birds for which there is an open season in Canada, please consult the summary for the province or territory where you plan to hunt.
Contact information for Canadian Wildlife Service offices (by region)
New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island
17 Waterfowl Lane
P.O. Box 6227
801-1550 Avenue d'Estimauville
335 River Road
Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba
115 Perimeter Road
60 Front Street L3
Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon
PO Box 1870
Suite 301, 933 Mivvik St.
- note to all applicants: Service standards for migratory bird permits can be found online. Please note that when incomplete applications are received, Environment and Climate Change Canada will notify the applicant and the time limit will be “paused” or “suspended” until all the missing information is received
- it is your responsibility to contact the appropriate provincial/territorial wildlife agency and municipal office for information about possible additional permits required for your planned activity
- Date modified: