Environment Canada investigation led to wildlife protection fund

Scarborough company pleads guilty to selling illegal tusks

ivory trade

The 2013 discovery of two illicit elephant tusks in an auction house prompted the federal government to increase funds for anti-poaching overseas.

When asked what measures Environment Canada was taking in response to these events, a ministry spokesperson referred to a press release from John Baird over a year ago, during the investigation. The press conference was at the London Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade.

“Illegal wildlife trafficking is known to fund the drug trade, corruption and terrorist activities in Africa,” Baird said. “Canada continues to make a positive contribution to this fight. Today, I am proud to announce an additional $2 million in emergency funding support to combat wildlife trafficking in Eastern Africa, and thereby disrupt these illicit networks involved in poaching and the illegal trade of wildlife.”

In November 2013, two ivory tusks being sold as antique at Five Star Auctions and Appraisals came to the attention of the Environment Canada.

Under Canadian law, ivory is not illegal so long as it the animal was lawfully removed from the wild before July 3, 1975, the official moratorium.

The tusks were examined using modern carbon dating, and it was proven that the tusks had come from two elephants, killed three and four years after that. On Feb. 27, 2015, the auction house and its director, Chun Al Jin, plead guilty to wildlife protection charges. Both entities were fined $9,375.