Fish and wildlife officers charge seven
If a hunter legally harvests a big game animal, he can have the head mounted and the meat processed. However, selling the meat is a totally different matter; there is no way to do this legally.
The special investigations section of our fish and wildlife enforcement branch has many officers working undercover to identify wildlife traffickers throughout the province. They do this by posing as potential buyers and sellers while interacting with suspected wildlife traffickers. In fact, an undercover investigation focusing on the trafficking of big game in north-central Alberta wrapped up on July 14th, 2014.
Seven individuals have been charged with 23 counts under the Wildlife Act.
On July 14, 2014, officers seized 322 packages of moose and elk meat, which is worth approximately $6,500 on the black market. Officers also seized $1,105 in cash and a 2013 Ford F-150 truck.
In this case, sources alleged that wildlife was being illegally bought and sold in the Lac Ste. Anne area of Alberta. Officers investigated these tips to see whether they were valid, and ultimately, they launched an undercover operation targeting identified suspects.
Any unregulated trade in wildlife helps fuel black market demand, which could lead to increased poaching and pressure on animal populations. Any sale of wild animals should be treated as unlawful, but there are some exceptions. In addition, wildlife laws vary in each province and country. If someone is selling wildlife to a person outside Alberta, it’s important to check that the exchange is legal in both jurisdictions.
If you wish to find out more, please contact your nearest Alberta fish and wildlife enforcement branch office toll-free at 310-0000 to speak to a Fish and Wildlife officer.