Smuggling protected plants and animals into Canada results in conditional sentence of imprisonment and probation for offenders

August 25, 2017 – Toronto, Ontario

On August 2, 2017, Carbo Herbal Supplies Inc. and owner, Mrs. Qin Zhou, pleaded guilty in the Ontario Court of Justice to violations under the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act relating to the illegal importation of plant parts and animal derivatives without the required permits.

In May 2016, Environment and Climate Change Canada’s environmental enforcement officers inspected a sea container that arrived at the Port of Vancouver. During the inspection, the officers seized 800 kilograms of dried tree-fern roots (Cibotium barometz), a species used in traditional Asian medicine, as well as a box of Asian medicine containing Moschus, or musk deer. Both are regulated species that must be accompanied by the required Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) permits when imported into Canada.

Mrs. Qin Zhou and Carbo Herbal Supplies Inc. were sentenced.

Mrs. Qin Zhou was ordered to

  • Serve a 4 month conditional sentence of imprisonment under supervision to be served in the community
  • Serve 14 months of probation following the conditional sentence of imprisonment
  • Perform 32 hours of community service
  • Notify Environment and Climate Change Canada of plant or animal parts imported by herself or by any person directly or indirectly under her employment or supervision, for a period of 18 months
  • Not commit the same or similar offence under the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act
  • Write an article outlining the underlying facts of the offences--including a reference to the legislation violated, the types of permits required to legally import species into Canada, the plants or animals (or parts or derivatives) seized to which the act applies, and the sentences imposed for the respective offences--and publish it in a traditional Chinese medicine practitioners newsletter within 18 months
  • Forfeit the seized Cibotium barometz and Moschus to the Crown

Carbo Herbal Supplies Inc. was ordered to

  • Serve 18 months of probation during which a representative of Carbo Herbal Supplies Inc. will report to a probation officer as required
  • Forfeit the seized Cibotium barometz and Moschus to the Crown
  • For a period of 18 months
    1. Notify Environment and Climate Change Canada of any change of business name or creation of a new business that is related to the importation of plant or animal parts
    2. Notify Environment and Climate Change Canada of all pending imports of plant or animal parts by the company (or newly created company)
    3. Not commit the same or similar offence under the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act

Quick facts

  • The Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act is the legislation used to implement CITES in Canada.
  • More than 180 countries, including Canada, have signed the CITES agreement. These countries work together to protect thousands of the world’s most threatened species.
  • CITES sets controls on the worldwide trade and movement of more than 33 000 animal and plant species that have been, or may be, threatened due to excessive exploitation and trade. CITES uses an international permit system, as administered by national jurisdictions, to regulate trade in CITES-listed species.

Associated links

Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act

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Contacts

Media Relations
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll free)

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