Three Ontario hunters sentenced for offences under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994

Orangeville, Ontario – May 23, 2018 – Environment and Climate Change Canada

The effective and strict enforcement of Canadian environmental and wildlife legislation is one way Environment and Climate Change Canada meets its commitments to maintaining clean air and water as well as protecting wildlife and their habitats.

On May 16, 2018, Victor Hugo Dias De Almeida, Claudio Meira, and Jorge Da Piedade Dimas, were sentenced in the Ontario Court of Justice after pleading guilty to one count each of hunting a Trumpeter Swan during a closed season contrary to the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994. Combined fines totalling $19,000 will be directed to the Environmental Damages Fund.

On September 23, 2017, Environment and Climate Change Canada enforcement officers observed, during a routine patrol of waterfowl hunters at the Luther Marsh Conservation Area, a dead Trumpeter Swan floating in the water near a group of hunters. The officers established that each hunter had illegally hunted the swan, and the hunters were subsequently charged. There is no open season in Canada for hunting Trumpeter Swans.

In addition to the fines, the defendants were ordered to either complete the Ontario Hunter Education Program or surrender any permit issued under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 and be prohibited from applying for a new permit for a period of five years. As well, the defendants are prohibited for a period of one year from applying for or possessing a license to hunt migratory birds.

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Quick facts

  • The Trumpeter Swan is a long-lived, social species, conspicuous by its large size, all-white plumage, and trumpet-like call. Although it was formerly abundant and geographically widespread, its numbers and distribution were greatly reduced during the early fur trade and European settlement of North America (1600s to 1800s) when it was prized for its skins and primary feathers. Only 69 individuals were known to exist in 1935, but unrecorded flocks also inhabited parts of Alaska and Canada.
  • As a result of intensive conservation efforts over decades, the population is recovering, and it is estimated at 16 000 today.
  • Trumpeter Swans are protected under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994. Environment and Climate Change Canada enforces federal wildlife legislation that protects plant and animal species throughout Canada, in collaboration with other federal departments, provincial and territorial governments, and international agencies and organizations.
  • Created in 1995, the Environmental Damages Fund is a Government of Canada program administered by Environment and Climate Change Canada. The Fund follows the polluter pays principle and ensures that court-awarded penalties are used for projects with positive environmental impacts.

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