An Ontario man involved in trafficking eagle parts in British Columbia was fined a total of $25,000 in penalties after his appearance in Surrey Provincial Court on April 17.
Brian General of Hagersville, Ontario, entered a guilty plea to one count of unlawfully trafficking in wildlife and was fined $15,000, of which $14,500 will go to the Habitat Conservation Trust Fund. General also pleaded guilty to one count of unlawfully exporting wildlife from British Columbia, and was fined an additional $10,000, of which $9,500 will go to the Habitat Conservation Trust Fund. Both charges were pursuant to the provisions of the Wildlife Act.
General was charged following a 15-month investigation by the Conservation Officer Service after a member of the public reported the discovery of the remains of several eagles in North Vancouver.
Thirteen other individuals are still facing multiple charges under the provincial Wildlife Act and the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of the International and Interprovincial Trade Act. Charges include unlawful possession of dead wildlife, trafficking in dead wildlife, possession of wildlife for the purpose of illegal export, and illegal export of wildlife. These cases are still before the courts.
The Conservation Officer Service encourages the public to Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) by the calling the 24-hour hotline toll free at 1-877-952-7277 (RAPP), or #7277 on the Telus Mobility Network, or by visiting the RAPP website at www.rapp.bc.ca .
The Ministry of Environment's Quarterly Compliance and Enforcement summaries can be viewed online at www.env.gov.bc.ca/main/prgs/compliancereport.html .
The BC Wildlife Federation offers a reward of up to $2,000 for information leading to the conviction of persons breaking wildlife laws, vandalizing private property and breaking other property laws.