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GLIN==> Eagle Smuggler Fined $14,000 in Ontario



Posted on behalf of Brigitte Torok <Brigitte.Torok@ec.gc.ca>

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Environment Canada
Media Advisory

Media briefing planned to address International Movement of Wildlife Species

The Wildlife Enforcement Division for Environment Canada's Canadian Wildlife
Service and the Toronto Zoo will hold a media briefing at the Toronto Zoo on
Thursday, September 27, 2001.

The purpose of the media briefing is to raise awareness of the importance of
the proper control of the international movement of wildlife species, in
light of Tuesday's conviction of Mr. Xuan Thanh Dang of Toronto. Mr. Dang
was convicted in the Ontario Court of Justice (Provincial Division) for
violating section 6(2) of the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and
Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act (WAPPRIITA) for
importing a rare Changeable hawk-eagle without appropriate permits.

On April 6, 2001, the bird was discovered in a piece of luggage by Canada
Customs officials at Pearson International Airport, inside a small,
gift-wrapped box. The very young bird endured the long flight from Vietnam
to Canada with little air and no access to food or water. Its beak was taped
closed, and it had a broken wing. In addition, the bird had, and continues
to have, significant, permanent foot deformities due to metabolic bone
disease. The condition is induced by a calcium deficient diet.

The bird is currently in the care of the Toronto Zoo.

Officials from Environment Canada will be on hand to discuss permit
requirements for the international movement of endangered species, the
importance of international monitoring of wildlife populations. As well,
there will be photo opportunities with the bird.

Thursday, September 27
10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
 Toronto Zoo Operations Centre (North Service Building), Main Entrance
361A Old Finch Avenue, Scarborough, Ontario

Directions: From 401 go North on Meadowvale Road, (past main entrance of the
Zoo) to Old Finch Ave, turn left and approx.  km, building on left hand
side.  Report inside main entrance to building.

Contact: Brigitte Torok (416) 739-4848

---
Eagle Smuggler Fined $14,000

Toronto - September 26, 2001 - A traveler bringing back a live eagle was
convicted yesterday for violations of Canadian wildlife protection
legislation in the Ontario Court of Justice (Provincial Division). On April
6, 2001, a rare Changeable Hawk-eagle was discovered in a piece of luggage
by Canada Customs officials at Pearson International Airport, inside a
small, gift-wrapped box.

Mr. Xuan Thanh Dang of Toronto was convicted for violating section 6(2) of
the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and
Interprovincial Trade Act (WAPPRIITA) for importing wildlife without
appropriate permits. The Court imposed a sentence of $5,000, as well as an
additional $9,000 in costs, which represented the veterinary expenses
incurred to date to care for the animal. The Court also ordered forfeiture
of the animal.

The very young bird endured the long flight from Vietnam to Canada with
little air and no access to food or water. Its beak was taped closed, and it
had a broken wing. In addition, the bird has a condition known as metabolic
bone disease, which is induced by a calcium deficient diet. Without an
adequate source of calcium, captured birds of prey do not develop healthy
bones. The disease has caused deformities in the bird's feet, which prevent
it from standing or perching normally.

"The success of this investigation can be attributed directly to the
teamwork between all agencies involved," said Gary Colgan, Chief of Wildlife
Enforcement for Environment Canada's Canadian Wildlife Service. "Without the
support of Canada Customs and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, who
detected the illegal import, and the Ontario Veterinary College and the
Toronto Zoo, who continue to provide exemplary care for the injured animal,
we could have been looking at a much different end result."

The Changeable Hawk-eagle is protected under the Convention on International
Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). In Canada, as
of 1996, CITES is implemented through WAPPRIITA, under which it is an
offence to import or export CITES protected species, including their parts
or products, without the appropriate CITES Permit. Environment Canada is
responsible for the enforcement of this legislation.

Persons convicted under WAPPRIITA may be fined up to $150,000, or five years
in prison on indictment. The penalties are less for summary conviction.
Corporations face fines of up to $300,000.

About CITES
CITES was established to protect wild animals and plants from over
exploitation by regulating their international trade. Canada was an original
signatory to the Convention in 1975 and is among 151 other countries around
the world that enforce CITES today.

- 30 -

For more information contact:

Gary Colgan
Canadian Wildlife Service
Environment Canada
Telephone: (905) 319-6960 or Cell: (905) 973-7616
Photos are available on request.



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