Alberta couple guilty of possessing hawks, Canada goose and great horned owl feathers

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LETHBRIDGE, Alta. -- October 19, 2011 -- On September 22, 2011, Jason Patrick Kunkel and Deborah Cybulski, residents of Medicine Hat, Alberta, were found guilty of illegally possessing carcasses and feathers of four dead birds in contravention of the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act (WAPPRIITA).

Canada Border Services Agency discovered the birds on December 25, 2010, in the trunk of the couple’s car during an inspection at the Coutts/Sweetgrass border.

Following an investigation by Environment Canada, Kunkel and Cybulski were charged with illegally possessing two frozen Rough Legged Hawks, one frozen Canada Goose and 12 feathers of a Great Horned Owl.

Their violations include one count each under section 8(a) of WAPPRITA, which prohibits possession of any birds or parts thereof without permits or written authorization from the authorities in the United States, the country from which the birds and feathers were exported. Kunkel and Cybulski were each sentenced to pay $300 per bird, for a total fine of $2,400.

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