Ontario provincial police are urging the public to stop stopping to take photos in a canola field because crop damage could cost farmers around $2,000 if at least one acre is affected.
“There is NO right to enter a field to take a perfect photo,” OPP Central Region tweeted.
Dufferin’s OPP department said it was alerted to two incidents of trespassing on canola fields over the Canada Day long weekend in Melancthon Township, a rural Ontario community about 30 kilometers northwest of Orangeville.
A picture posted by the OPP shows about a dozen people amidst the bright yellow field with several cars pulled to the side of the road.
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“Fields do not need signage or fencing. Entering a field uninvited is trespassing. If you cause damage, you could be prosecuted,” the OPP said.
It is unclear how much damage was caused by selfie shots.
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Police are asking anyone who sees people entering fields to take photos to call them immediately at 1-888-310-1122.
“Fields of grain do not need to have fences or signage to prevent people from entering, as stipulated in the Unauthorized Property Act,” police said. “Therefore, entering a field, whether on foot or by 4×4, is trespassing.”
If an individual damages crops, a criminal charge of mischief could be considered by a responding officer, police said.
The OPP said it has seen 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 spring and ready for harvest in early summer.
“Although rapeseed is beautiful this time of year, it is a crop. It’s a big part of the plant-based diet and a source of income for our farmers,” the OPP said.
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https://globalnews.ca/news/8967231/ontario-canola-field-photos-opp-trespassing/ ‘It’s trespassing’: Police urge people to stop taking photos while standing in Ontario canola fields