Major Poaching Ring Busted Along the Southwest Coast

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Conservation officers from the Department of Natural Resources, under the direction of the Special Investigations Unit and along with the Canadian Wildlife Service, busted on Wednesday, April 27, a major organized migratory bird poaching ring that was operating in the towns of Port aux Basques and Rose Blanche. Assisting in this week’s operation were officers representing the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the RCMP.

The undercover investigation, lead by officers with Canadian Wildlife Service, was initiated three years ago to address the illegal commercialization of migratory birds in the area of the southwest coast.

Officers executed search warrants on a number of residences and fishing sheds during the take-down operation. A large quantity of items including migratory birds, bird pickers, caribou, firearms, ammunition, two boats with motors and other related equipment was seized.

There are numerous charges pending against several individuals for offences under the Migratory Bird Act and the Wildlife Act as well as for firearm offences under the Criminal Code.

The investigation is continuing with the support of all the agencies involved and is expected to conclude within a few weeks.