Migratory Birds Convention Act

Migratory Birds Convention Act

The Migratory Birds Convention Act (also MBCA) is a Canadian law established in 1917 and significantly updated in June 1994 which contains regulations to protect migratory birds, their eggs, and their nests from hunting, trafficking and commercialization. A permit is required to engage in any of these activities.

The original law was passed to satisfy the terms of an agreement with the United States, signed because of concern in both countries of uncontrolled hunting of waterfowl and shorebirds. The updated version includes stronger enforcement and greater penalties. A geographical area may be designated as a Migratory Bird Refuge under this convention; this restricts activities targeting a specified set of birds in that area, but does not protect the land or water features. To establish complete habitat protection, the more stringent requirements of the Canada Wildlife Act are necessary.


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