The scope of The Wildlife Act encompasses matters primarily associated with wildlife management, research and protection of property or persons. This is accomplished by prohibiting activities such as the hunting, killing, capturing, taking, possessing, importing, exporting, buying or selling of wild animals except as permitted by the Act, a regulation or a permit.
A "wild animal" is defined as being an animal or bird of a species listed in Schedule A to the Act or declared by a regulation under the Act to be a wild animal. This includes any animal of that species regardless of whether it was born and raised in captivity or captured from the wild in Manitoba or in some other jurisdiction, and includes a hybrid of that species. An animal does not have to be indigenous in order to be declared a wild animal. "Wildlife" is defined as being a vertebrate animal of a species or type that is wild by nature in the province, but does not include fish. Non-native animals or those not listed in Schedule A, commonly referred to as "exotics", are generally not regulated by the Act, with one exception. The minister, by regulation, may declare any species or type of animal to be prohibited or restricted in Manitoba.
There are ten base Order-in-Council (O/C) regulations; nine administered by Wildlife Branch, and one by Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives through the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation. Such regulations govern matters like designation of wildlife lands, e.g., refuges and hunting zones, and revenue collection or disbursement, for example: royalties, and payment of compensation.
In addition to O/C regulations, there are eighteen base ministerial regulations, all administered by Wildlife Branch. Ministerial regulations govern matters such as hunting seasons and bag limits, use of vehicles and equipment for hunting, activities that may be undertaken on designated wildlife lands, and keeping of records by fur dealers and taxidermists.