Unlawful importation of threatened crocodile meat in Alberta leads to $7,500 fine

News release

September 22, 2023 – Edmonton, Alberta

Strong and effective enforcement of Canada’s wildlife protection laws is one of the tangible ways the Government of Canada helps conserve wildlife species and their habitats.

On September 20, 2023, Adeleke Abubakar Ali-Ibironke was fined $7,500 after pleading guilty in the Alberta Court of Justice to one count of unlawfully importing a species of animal without obtaining the required permits. This was in contravention of subsection 6(2) of the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act (WAPPRIITA). The fine will be directed to the Government of Canada’s Environmental Damages Fund.

On February 26, 2022, Ali-Ibironke arrived on an international flight at Calgary International Airport and did not declare any food or animal products. Further examination by the Canada Border Services Agency revealed approximately six pounds of meat products in Ali-Ibironke’s luggage. Environment and Climate Change Canada enforcement officers inspected the meat products and sent samples for DNA analysis to identify the species. The testing identified the meat as African Dwarf Crocodile. This species is listed as an Appendix I species under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) because it is classified as a threatened species.

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Quick facts

  • WAPPRIITA is the Canadian federal law through which Canada meets its obligations to regulate trade in species listed under CITES.

  • The purpose of WAPPRIITA is to protect Canadian and foreign species of animals and plants that may be at risk of exploitation due to illegal trade, and to safeguard Canadian ecosystems from the introduction of species considered to be harmful.

  • WAPPRIITA applies to the import and export of species that are threatened with extinction, species that may become threatened if their trade is not regulated, and species that are under management regimes in individual countries and require the cooperation of Canada and other countries to control their trade.

  • African Dwarf Crocodiles have been listed under CITES as an Appendix I species since the signing of CITES in 1975.

  • 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 repair environmental damage or benefit the environment. The Fund receives and redirects the money from court penalties and settlements and aims to invest in areas where the environmental damage occurred.

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