The OPP and OFA are reminding ATV users farmland is private property
By Diego Flammini
The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) are reminding ATV riders to be mindful of where they ride.
This comes after a Caledon, Ont. farmer lost about $10,000 in crops because of ATV damage.
Trespassing is becoming a problem in the community, David Lyons said.
“We’re talking about trespassing on property — it’s been increasing in nature in this part of the community, and we need to highlight some of the challenges that trespassing (on) property demonstrates for farmers,” the farmer said in an OPP Twitter video on Wednesday.
Land and crop damage is one of multiple issues associated with farm trespassing.
People who enter a farm property without permission could be a biosecurity risk, said Leah Emms, OFA member service representative for Peel, Simcoe and York.
“It is very disrespectful to trespass, whether it’s by foot, ATV, dirt bike, truck or snowmobile,” she said in the video. “It causes damage to crops that may seem insignificant to you but are very significant to the farmer. Also, there’s a risk of introducing diseases and invasive species as well that can be transported on those vehicles or by your person.”
The Ontario government passed legislation in 2020 to deter trespassers.
Penalties associated with Bill 156, the Security from Trespass and Protecting Food Safety Act, include fines of up to $15,000 for a first offence and up to $25,000 for subsequent offences; and allowing the court to order restitution for damage in certain circumstances.