Three Newfoundland and Labrador hunters fined $15,000 for offences under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994

News release

June 25, 2021 – Stephenville, Newfoundland and Labrador

Enforcement officers work across the country, from coast to coast to coast, enforcing the laws and regulations that protect and conserve wildlife and its habitat. This work aims to reduce threats and damage to biodiversity for the benefit of all Canadians.

On June 24, 2021, Paul Lushman, Bud Durnford, and Brian Durnford, from Francois, Newfoundland and Labrador, were each sentenced to pay $5,000 after having pleaded guilty on May 10, 2021, to one charge each under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994, in the Stephenville Provincial Court, Newfoundland and Labrador. The three hunters were charged with possessing migratory birds without the necessary authorization. The total amount of the fines will be directed to the Government of Canada’s Environmental Damages Fund. In addition to the fines, the three are prohibited from applying for, using, or possessing a migratory game bird hunting permit for a period of one year.

On December 10, 2020, Department of Fisheries and Oceans Fishery Officers conducted an inspection of a vessel near Francois, Newfoundland and Labrador. The officers observed three individuals onboard the boat in possession of a rifle, four shotguns, and a sack containing six Black Legged Kittiwakes. These are protected birds, not game birds, and therefore cannot be possessed or hunted except pursuant to an Aboriginal or treaty right or lawful authority. None of the individuals had any permits that would allow them to lawfully possess these birds. The matter was turned over to Environment and Climate Change Canada’s enforcement officers for investigation. The investigation by enforcement officers led to charges being laid against all three individuals for offences under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994.

Environment and Climate Change Canada has created a free subscription service to help Canadians stay current with what the Government of Canada is doing to protect our natural environment.

Quick facts

  • Under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994, Environment and Climate Change Canada is authorized to protect migratory birds and their nests, conserve populations, and regulate potentially harmful human activities that may impact them.

  • Created in 1995, the Environmental Damages Fund is a Government of Canada program administered by Environment and Climate Change Canada. The Fund helps ensure that court-awarded penalties are used to benefit the environment. The Fund receives and redirects the money from court penalties and settlements, usually investing in areas where the environmental damage occurred.

  • Individuals are encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) to anonymously report wildlife crime. Callers may be eligible for a reward of up to $2,000 from Crime Stoppers.

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