Nearly 1,200 wildlife-related charges laid last year in Newfoundland and Labrador

Hands up and slowly get off that ATV.

Last year, fish and wildlife enforcement officers laid nearly 1,200 charges in Newfoundland and Labrador, a 36 percent increase from 2013.

The offences ranged from fishing and hunting violations to the unsafe use of firearms and improper use of all-terrain vehicles. Other offences included illegal angling, netting of fish, hunting, and trapping.

According to the Department of Justice and Public Safety, the public “played an important role in helping officers carry out the division’s mandate by reporting suspicious activity.” Last year, they received 625 complaints.

In addition to public tips, the boost in charges is due to newly installed mobile work stations in vehicles, which allow officers more hours to carry out investigations and less time in the office performing administrative tasks.