Canadian Man Arrested at Airport

British Columbia Conservation Department, Bear Hunting Magazine

A British Columbia man was arrested at the Vancouver Airport after security found bear parts in his carry-on luggage early Sunday. They found three black-bear paws, believed to be two front and one rear, wrapped in aluminum foil, in the luggage bound for China.

The man is now facing charges under federal and provincial legislation for smuggling animal parts. While there are hunting seasons in the spring and fall for black bears, the sale and export of parts is illegal. Asia has an underground market for bear parts such as paws and gall bladders.

The British Columbia Conservation office investigation into this will continue, including figuring out where the bear paws came from. Trafficking in animal parts carry a maximum two-year sentence and a $250,000 fine. Federal charges under wildlife-trafficking laws carry a maximum six-month sentence and $25,000 fine for a first-time incident.

The 39 year-old man was released on a promise to appear in provincial court on October 6, 2011.

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