Criminal

US – Mar 2017 – successful prosecution of a high-profile Manhattan art dealer for offences under New York’s ivory trading laws.

Aus – Mar 2017 – white collar prosecution – “A joint Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the Department of Environment and Energy (DoEE) investigation has resulted in a 28-year-old Bondi Beach man being charged for alleged illegal international wildlife trafficking.  The man was arrested at Bondi Beach on Friday 3 March, World Wildlife Day.  He was later charged with a total of 41 offences – 25 counts contrary to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth), and 16 offences contrary to the Biosecurity Act 2015 (Cth).  It will be alleged in court that between July and October 2016, investigators seized six packages bound for Sweden containing more than 40 native Australian shingleback lizards.  Additionally, it will be alleged the man was responsible for 16 packages from Thailand containing more than 200 animals, including Chinese soft shell turtles, alligator snapping turtles, snakehead fish, sugar gliders, veiled chameleons and freshwater stingrays.”

Canada – Feb 2017 – white collar prosecution – “On March 6, 2017, Ms. Xiu Mei Cui pleaded guilty, in the Provincial Court of British Columbia, to two counts under the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act. She was fined $75,000 and prohibited, for a period of two years, from importing into Canada items made with species listed by the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Of the fine, $70,000 will be directed to the Environmental Damages Fund. All items seized were forfeited.  On October 17, 2014, officers with the Canada Border Services Agency intercepted Ms. Cui, at the Vancouver International Airport, after finding undeclared jewelry items in her luggage. During the secondary examination, border services officers discovered ivory pendants, bracelets, carvings, chopsticks and ornaments.  All the items were detained for investigation by Environment and Climate Change Canada enforcement officers. Forensic DNA testing confirmed that the items were made from animal species protected by the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, including African and Asian elephants, lion, white rhinoceros and hawksbill turtle.”

Canada – Jan 2017 – “On January 20, 2017, Nature 3M Inc. (Normandin, Quebec) and Marcel Parisien (Repentigny, Quebec) were convicted in court for exporting polar bear skins to the Canadian market without complying with existing regulations.

During sentencing on January 20, 2017, Nature 3M Inc. and Marcel Parisien were each fined $5,000 for the export of polar bear skins from Quebec to other provinces, in contravention of the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act. The total penalty of $10,000 will be directed to the Environmental Damages Fund. The investigation was conducted by Environment and Climate Change Canada enforcement officers in partnership with Quebec’s Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs wildlife protection officers.”

Aus – Oct 2016 – Sawa Pty Ltd v Swift [2016] WASC 331 – SCWA appeal from Magistrates’ Court convictions – eight offences of being cruel to an animal contrary to s 19(1) of the Animal Welfare Act 2002 (WA)in that, contrary to s 19(3)(j) of the Act, the appellant caused the animal unnecessary harm – horns were removed from cattle – 7 day trial – convicted and ordered to pay costs of $27,000 – convictions quashed – deficiencies in Magistrates’ reasons.

Civil

Aus – April 2017 – The Animal Law Institute (ALI) has started legal action in the Federal Circuit Court of Australia on behalf of Australia for Dolphins against a Coffs Harbour marine park, Dolphin Marine Magic (DMM), for misleading and deceptive conduct. Dolphin Marine Magic currently holds five dolphins in captivity at its marine park.

“Dolphin Marine Magic continues to claim on its website that the animals that they care for are happy and healthy – this includes the five dolphins currently at the park. We say that this claim is misleading as dolphins in captivity suffer stress, behavioural abnormalities, high mortality rates, decreased longevity, breeding problems and their welfare is generally compromised in artificial captive environments” says Malcolm Caulfield, Principal Lawyer at The Animal Law Institute.

Administrative

 

Other

Here’s the US DOJ’s overview of animal welfare prosecution and regulation in the USA.

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