Fall “Border Blitz” Results in Numerous Charges Under Fish and Wildlife Legislation
WINNIPEG, November 21, 2005 – Environment Canada’s wildlife enforcement branch, in cooperation with other federal, provincial and U.S. government agencies, conducted a series of border crossing inspections or “border blitzes” at six Canadian border crossings and airports in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba this fall. The Enforcement Campaign resulted in over 1500 hunters and fishermen being checked by officers in order to ensure compliance of various fish and wildlife regulations.
A total of $21, 457 in fines were issued. In addition, 142 enforcement actions were initiated, including 69 charges laid and 73 written warnings. Numerous seizures were made by the various enforcement agencies involved, including over 280 migratory game birds, 100 fish, eight sets of deer antlers, one set of elk antlers, one black bear skull and hide, one moose antler, large quantities of processed waterfowl and deer meat, and even whale parts.
The most common offence under the federal Migratory Birds Convention Act was over-possession of migratory game birds and transporting migratory game birds without having at least one fully feathered wing attached for identification purposes. The most common offences discovered under the federal Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act (WAPPRIITA) was illegally transporting wildlife out of a province without an export permit and transporting illegally possessed wildlife. There were also numerous offences against various Provincial Fish and Wildlife Acts and Regulations.
The “border blitzes” were conducted between September 24th and October 23rd, 2005, at the height of the migratory game bird hunting season, and involved the Canadian Border Services Agency, Alberta Fish and Wildlife, Saskatchewan Environment, Manitoba Conservation, the RCMP, United States Customs and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, all of whom assisted Environment Canada in inspecting the vehicles and shipments of persons transporting fish and wildlife out of Canada.
Under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, Canada and the United States coordinate efforts to ensure long-term conservation of migratory bird populations. The maximum penalty on summary conviction for each violation under the Migratory Birds Convention Act is $50,000 and/or six months in jail. The Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act (WAPPRIITA) protects Canadian and foreign animal and plant species from illegal trade. The maximum penalty on summary conviction for each violation under WAPPRIITA is $25,000 and/or six months in jail.