Environment Canada

Environment Canada

December 10, 2009 13:02 ET

Discovery of Altered Permits Lead to Guilty Pleas After Wildlife Enforcement Investigation

NEWMARKET, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 10, 2009) - A fifteen-month wildlife enforcement investigation conducted by Environment Canada has ended with an individual pleading guilty to six counts in the Ontario Court of Justice - Criminal Division in Newmarket.

Cyril D'Souza of Uxbridge Township, Ontario, pleaded guilty to three counts of knowingly furnishing false or misleading information and three counts of unlawfully exporting an animal part from Canada. The charges involve three African Lion hunting trophies, allegedly from South Africa and Zimbabwe. The fines paid will total $18,000 - $3,000 for each count.

Mr. D'Souza was given 12 months to pay the $18,000 fine. The court ordered the forfeiture of all documents used in the commission of the offences. Mr. D'Souza was also ordered to provide notice to Environment Canada's Wildlife Enforcement Division before importing any hunting trophies that are subject to regulatory control. The court ordered Mr. D'Souza to provide directly to the Wildlife Enforcement Division any original permits he has obtained from foreign authorities for the purpose of importing hunting trophies into Canada.

The Environment Canada investigation, dubbed "Operation Trophy Tales," led to the discovery of copies of export permits originally issued by South Africa and Zimbabwe in compliance with the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). After being altered by Mr. D'Souza, the permits were used to obtain Canadian CITES permits. Mr. D'Souza then used the fraudulently obtained Canadian permits to export finished taxidermy Lion trophies to the U.S. in 2007 and 2008.

The African Lion is a species listed as threatened under CITES Appendix II, and is protected under Canada's domestic legislation, the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act (WAPPRIITA) and its Regulations.

CITES is an international agreement to regulate trade in specific species of wild animals and plants, as well as their respective parts and derivatives. Environment Canada is the lead agency responsible for CITES implementation in Canada. WAPPRIITA is the legislation used to implement CITES in Canada.

Further information on CITES and WAPPRIITA may be found at www.cites.ec.gc.ca.

Egalement offert en francais

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of the Environment
    Frederic Baril
    Press Secretary
    Environment Canada
    Media Relations