The Ontario Provincial Police are urging the public to stop pulling over to snap photos in a canola field as crop damage could cost farmers around $2,000 if at least one acre is affected.
“It is NOT a right to enter a field to get a perfect photo,” OPP Central Region tweeted.
The Dufferin OPP detachment said they were made aware of two instances of canola field trespassing over the Canada Day long weekend in Melancthon Township, a rural Ontario township located about 30 kilometres northwest of Orangeville.
A picture posted by the OPP shows about a dozen people in the middle of the bright yellow field with several cars pulled over to the side of the road.
“Fields don’t require signage or fencing. If you enter a field uninvited, it is trespassing. If you cause damage you could be charged criminally,” the OPP said.
It is unclear how much damage was caused due to selfie-takers.
Police are asking anyone who sees people trespassing onto fields for photos to call them right away at 1-888-310-1122.
“Fields containing crops are not required to have fences or signage to deter people from entering, as stated in the Trespass to Property Act,” police said. “Therefore, entering a field, whether it is on foot or with an off-road vehicle, is trespassing,”
If a person damages crops, then a criminal charge of mischief could be considered by a responding officer, police said.
The OPP said it has noticed an increase in agricultural trespassing in Dufferin County.
“Canola is the new sunflower field,” one person wrote on Facebook.
In Ontario, canola is typically planted in the spring and ready to harvest in the early part of the summer.
“While canola is beautiful at this time of year, it is a crop. It is a large part of plant-based diets and a source of income for our farmers,” the OPP said.
Fields don't require signage or fencing. If you enter a field uninvited, it is trespassing. If you cause damage you could be charged criminally.
— OPP Central Region (@OPP_CR) July 4, 2022
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