Code of Conduct and Ethics:
1. Care of Birds
- Members must uphold the highest standards of welfare, housing and feeding of their birds. The welfare of a hawk must override any other consideration.
- Members should not keep any raptor, whether for flying or breeding purposes, unless he or she has adequate facilities and is able to dedicate sufficient time each day to ensure the hawk’s welfare.
- Any bird that is no longer required should be given to another qualified person or, if appropriate, released back to the wild.
- Members must make every reasonable effort to recover a lost hawk and to cure or repair a sick or injured bird.
2. Conduct within the Falconry Community
- Members must conduct themselves ethically and respectfully at all times, especially in regards to land owners, wildlife, and other falconers.
- Members must uphold the highest standards of respect and integrity in their interactions within the falconry community, including Sponsors who must, at all times, treat their apprentices with respect and dignity.
- Any behaviour that degrades, belittles or harasses will not be tolerated.
3. Skills and Training
- Every novice falconer should go through a period of apprenticeship with an experienced falconer that adheres to this code.
- Apprentices are expected to follow both the spirit and the letter of the apprenticeship guidelines and the legal requirements.
- A member should not attempt to keep or train a difficult species of hawk if they do not have the necessary experience to do so.
- Falconry does not include the keeping of hawks as pets. Keeping hawks as pets is contrary to the values of the Ontario Hawking Club.
4. Social Media
- Practicing falconry is a privilege, not a right– falconers must remember to post responsibly. Most hunters are mindful and ethical, but a single negative post can quickly spread a negative impression.
- Members are expected to uphold a positive public image of falconry. Before posting, ask yourself if your post is displaying an ethical image of hunting? Am I showing respect for the animal I just harvested?
- Only falconers with considerable experience should attempt to provide material for publishing, take part in films or plays, give lectures and instruction or give displays. They should ensure that their actions and comments comply with the standards and policies of the club.
- Members should consult the Club executive before taking part in any significant publicity effort.
- Members will refrain from actions or behavior that might damage the reputation of the club or the sport of falconry.
6. Conservation of Wild Raptors
- Falconers must support and promote the welfare, study and the conservation of birds of prey in captivity and in the wild.
7. Observance of the law
- Every falconer is under a moral and legal obligation to observe the falconry and wildlife laws of the Province of Ontario and other jurisdictions.
- Members are expected to maintain positive relations with law enforcement and wildlife management personnel.
8. Propagation and Commercial Activity
- Members should not engage in breeding or other commercial activity with birds of prey until they have gained competence and proficiency with the care, training and hunting of birds at the recreational level.
- Members should only give or sell their birds to qualified, competent individuals and organizations that will follow the principles in this code.
- North American wild-taken birds should never be sold or used for commercial purposes or captive propagation.