Man fined for illegally importing endangered reptiles

Abbotsford, British Columbia - November 23, 2016 - Environment and Climate Change Canada

On October 14, 2016, Mr. Gregory Anderson, of Burnaby, B.C., was sentenced to pay a monetary penalty of $6000, in the Provincial Court of British Columbia, after pleading guilty to one count of importing an animal without a permit and one count of making false statements. The importation was in contravention of the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act (WAPPRIITA); and the making of false statements, in contravention of the Customs Act. Of the total penalty, $5000 will be directed to the Environmental Damages Fund.

In October 2015, Mr. Anderson was intercepted by officers with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) at the Abbotsford-Huntingdon port of entry, after failing to declare six Uromastyx ornata lizards and one Uromastyx maliensis lizard. Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) enforcement officers were engaged, and they subsequently charged Mr. Anderson under WAPPRIITA, while the CBSA’s Criminal Investigations Division laid charges under the Customs Act.

ECCC enforces federal laws that conserve and protect wildlife, and it works closely with other federal, provincial, territorial, and international agencies like the CBSA to detect violations and take enforcement action. Any wildlife listed by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and imported into Canada, exported from Canada, or attempted to be exported without the required permits is subject to seizure and forfeiture, and those responsible are liable to prosecution.

Quick facts

  • CITES is an international agreement to regulate or, in some cases, to prohibit trade in specific species of wild animals and plants, as well as their respective parts and derivatives. ECCC is the lead agency responsible for CITES implementation in Canada. WAPPRIITA is the legislation used to implement CITES in Canada.
  • Uromastyx species are commercially valuable as pets, food, and traditional medicine. The trade in uromastyx is regulated internationally to prevent the species from becoming endangered.


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