The provincial government will better balance the rights of rural landowners and the public
By Kate Ayers
The Government of Saskatchewan has given rural landowners more security on their properties.
The province’s updated legislation will move the onus of responsibility from landowners to individuals who want to enter private properties, a government release said on Tuesday.
“There have been concerns raised over the years that the current legislation unfairly places the onus on rural landowners to post their land to legally deny access,” Don Morgan, Sask.’s justice minister and attorney general, said in the release.
“This legislation shifts that responsibility to those wishing to access the land, by requiring them to obtain prior permission from the landowner or occupier.”
These changes will allow landowners to know who is on their properties and when. The legislation will also help prevent the spread of agricultural diseases. The new rules will protect landowners from property damage or liability issues that could result from trespassers being on their properties, the release said.
“Trespassing presents a threat not only to feelings of personal safety, but also to the livelihoods of farmers and ranchers,” Ray Orb, the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities president, said in an organizational release yesterday.
“We believe that tightening rural trespass laws will help rural landowners and farmers protect their livestock and crops while increasing the sense of security and safety for their families.”
These new rules give rural landowners the same rights as urban landowners in the province.
Officials made these changes in The Trespass to Property Act, The Snowmobile Act and The Wildlife Act, 1998.
Previous Farms.com coverage on trespassing in Sask. can be found here.
Richard Gillard/iStock/Getty Images Plus photo