First conviction under BC's new alien species law.
Calling it a step in the right direction, Environment Minister Barry Penner has announced the first-ever conviction under B.C.'s alien species regulation introduced last year.
Kim Carlton pleaded guilty in B.C. provincial court in Williams Lake on Sept. 8, 2010 to one count of possession of controlled alien species contrary to the B.C. Wildlife Act.
The conviction stems from an investigation by the Ministry of Environment's Conservation Officer Service that culminated in the March 2010 seizure of two lion cubs from Carlton. The cubs were relocated to an accredited wildlife facility for safe care.
In 2008, the B.C. government introduced legislation to amend the B.C. Wildlife Act to provide authority for regulations restricting the possession of species that pose the most serious threats to public safety. These include some types of mammals, amphibians and reptiles.
A regulation was then enacted in 2009, which includes a list of species that individuals are prohibited from possessing unless the animal was in B.C. prior to March 16, 2009. The regulation also includes restrictions on possessing, breeding, transporting and releasing animals in British Columbia.
Violations can result in fines as high as $250,000 and/or up to two years of imprisonment.
More information about controlled alien species is available at the Ministry of Environment website: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/fw/wildlifeactreview/cas/