It’s always outrageous to hear reports of individuals and international smuggling rings being involved in the exploitation of human beings and endangered species.
In the case of endangered species, that often means poaching or smuggling animals for their perceived economic or medicinal values – for pure profit. But somebody in British Columbia recently got caught doing this. According to Canada News Wire:
“On March 6, 2017, Ms. Xiu Mei Cui pleaded guilty, in the Provincial Court of British Columbia, to two counts under the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act.
“She was fined $75,000 and prohibited, for a period of two years, from importing into Canada items made with species listed by the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.”
It also says, $70,000 from this fine will be directed to the Environmental Damages Fund and all items seized were forfeited.
The news release goes on to say that, on October 17, 2014, officers with the Canada Border Services Agency intercepted Ms. Cui, at the Vancouver International Airport, after finding undeclared jewelry items in her luggage.
During the secondary examination, border services officers discovered ivory pendants, bracelets, carvings, chopsticks and ornaments. All the items were detained for investigation by Environment and Climate Change Canada enforcement officers.
Forensic DNA testing confirmed that the items were made from animal species protected by the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, including African and Asian elephants, lion, white rhinoceros and hawksbill turtle.
I’m glad that Xiu Mei Cui has been convicted for her exploitation of endangered species. But she should have a lifetime ban from bringing any items into Canada.
And I hope it sends a message to other would-be and actual smugglers that they can and will be caught in their attempts to exploit endangered species.
Unfortunately, many items like the ones Xiu Mei Cui tried to smuggle make their way to Canada somehow, because of the potential financial rewards.
I’ve seen reports in recent years about elephants, rhinos and other animals in Africa being the subject of intense poaching. Mercenaries often have to be brought in to protect these animals. I wish poachers and smugglers would wake up and realize the damage they are doing by exploiting endangered species.
My only qualm with the federal government is, rename the Environment and Climate Change Canada enforcement officers as border services officers.
Climate change is a fraud, and the work these officers do is the same as that of other border services officers. Get off your high horse about ‘climate change’, to more accurately reflect the campaign on international anti-poaching efforts.