Canada Gazette, Part I, Volume 157, Number 25: Regulations Amending the Wild Animal and Plant Trade Regulations
June 24, 2023
Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act
Department of the Environment
REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT
(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)
Global elephant and rhinoceros populations have been in decline over the past century. Despite global trade restrictions, trade in elephant tusk and rhinoceros horn continue to threaten these species. There have been growing calls for Canada to consider strengthening domestic measures on importation and exportation of elephant tusk (also commonly referred to as elephant ivory) and rhinoceros horn.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) estimates that the African elephant population has decreased by approximately 18% between 2007 and 2016, leaving the number remaining at approximately 415,000 African elephants left in the wild.footnote 1 For Asian elephants the IUCN estimates an overall population decline of at least 50% since 1945.footnote 2 Globally, rhinoceros populations have declined 3.7% from 2017 to 2021.footnote 3 Poaching continues to be the largest contributor to the declines.
The Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act (the Act) and the Wild Animal and Plant Trade Regulations (the Regulations) set requirements for international trade of Canadian and foreign wildlife species that may be at risk of overexploitation due to illegal trade.
The Act and the Regulations are also the legislative instruments through which Canada meets its obligations under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES or Convention), to which Canada is a party. CITES regulates international trade in specimens of species of wild flora and fauna based on a system of permits, which can be issued only if certain conditions are met. When these conditions are fulfilled, the trade is legal, sustainable, and traceable. The species covered by CITES are listed in three appendices, according to the degree of protection they need. Export permits are required for all CITES listed species. Import permits are also required for Appendix I listed species, which includes species threatened with extinction which are or may be affected by trade. Commercial trade in Appendix I specimens is generally prohibited.
CITES allows international trade in elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn when it was acquired before the species was first listed under CITES, in the mid-1970s (known as “pre-Convention”); and some strictly controlled trade in newer elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn, such as elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn from legal trophy hunts. Legal non-commercial trade could include elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn moving between countries as part of a household move (e.g. a piano with ivory keys), elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn acquired in a legal hunt, and elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn used for scientific research. The Convention allows CITES Parties to implement stricter measures than those set by the Convention to provide additional protections to selected species.
Canada’s current restrictions on trade in elephant tusk and rhinoceros horn include measures stricter than those required by CITES. Notably, Canada requires an import permit prior to entry into Canada for all elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn specimens of Appendix I listed species, including those specimens that are pre-Convention, or from animals bred in captivity (which CITES exempts from import permits), unless they qualify for the personal effects and household effects exemption. This exemption removes the requirement for a permit for specimens of species listed in Appendix I that are owned by an individual and are part of their clothing or accessories, are contained in their personal baggage, are part of an inheritance, or form part of their household belongings at the time of import or export.
Canada imports about 4% of the global legal trade in elephant ivory and less than 1% of the global legal trade in rhinoceros horn. For example, between 2015 and 2021, there was an average of 14 elephant tusks and 2 rhinoceros horns imported per year.footnote 4 Based on permits issued, the most commonly imported rhinoceros horn and elephant ivory items include worked items such as carved cups (typically called libation cups), saucer dishes, handles for antique tools or toiletry sets, netsuke (small Japanese carvings), chess sets, mahjong sets (a tile-based game), instruments (bagpipes, violin bows, piano keys), ivory insets in miniature paintings, ivory carvings, small parts of handles or knobs on teapots/coffee pots, cutlery handles, hair combs, furniture inlays, or religious items. In general, most infractions in Canada are items that could be legally imported or exported, but were not accompanied by the proper documentation. Between 2015 and 2021, 4662 ivory items were seized globally, only 7 of which were from Canada.footnote 3
The objectives of the proposed Regulations Amending the Wild Animal and Plant Trade Regulations (the proposed Amendments) are to
- reduce the import and export of elephant tusk and rhinoceros horn, thereby contributing to international efforts undertaken to reduce declines of certain elephant and rhinoceros populations, and
- improve monitoring of elephant tusk and rhinoceros horn trade to provide for a more complete picture of Canada’s participation in this trade and facilitate border controls.
The Act prohibits the import into Canada, or export from Canada, any animal or plant, or any part or derivative of any animal or plant listed in an Appendix to CITES, unless accompanied by a permit. All elephant and rhinoceros are listed in the Appendices of CITES. Therefore, the import and export of all elephant tusk and rhinoceros horn is currently prohibited without a permit.
The proposed Amendments would specify that permits for raw tusk from all elephant species and raw horn from all rhinoceros species, would only be available for museum specimens, scientific research, zoo or enforcement activities (e.g. investigations or prosecutions requiring enforcement agencies to send specimens for court cases in Canada or another country, specimens to be analyzed in a foreign forensics lab, or outreach events in other countries where seized items are used for public education purposes). Thus, the import and export of most raw elephant tusk and raw rhinoceros horn, including hunting trophies, would be prohibited.
The proposed Amendments to the Regulations would also create a new permit requirement for worked (carved or shaped) elephant tusk and rhinoceros horn that is a personal or household effect. Under the current Regulations, elephant tusk or rhinoceros horn that is a personal or household effect is exempt from requiring import and export permits. The proposed changes would remove those exemptions thereby requiring import and export permits for all worked elephant tusk and all worked rhinoceros horn.
The Department held a public consultation on potential increased trade controls on elephant ivory from July 24, 2021, to September 22, 2021. The consultations only considered the application of the increased trade controls on elephant ivory. They did not address the application to rhinoceros horn, however, the Department would expect to receive similar feedback in relation to rhinoceros since the same type of concerns have been raised with regards to declining rhinoceros populations, and since the proposed Amendments would apply in the same way, and the interests of stakeholders are similar.
Over 86,000 submissions were received from various partners and stakeholders, including Inuit, conservation and hunting organizations, government representatives and individuals. The vast majority of submissions were from four letter-writing campaigns by four organizations. Three were by animal welfare and conservation organizations, who favoured stricter controls due to the poor conservation status of elephants as well as the ongoing poaching and illegal trade in ivory. One was by a hunting organization that was opposed to proposed restrictions on hunting trophies. Between 2015 and 2021, trade in Canada was approximately 14 raw/trophy ivory and 2 raw/trophy rhinoceros horns annually, indicating that very few Canadians engage in trophy hunting for elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn. The proposed Amendments do not prevent participation in legal hunts or the trade in legally obtained hunting trophies.
Unique submissions were received from an Inuit organization, an association of antique dealers, a fur association, a hunting organization, and three conservation organizations, which raised concerns about the proposal. The Inuit organization expressed concern with potential future implications of the proposed Amendments on trade in non-elephant ivory. They noted that Inuit hold legally and constitutionally recognized, protected Indigenous rights to harvest and use walrus and narwhal (species that both have ivory tusks), and raised concerns with the precedent Canada may set if introducing additional elephant ivory trade controls without providing evidence of a direct conservation benefit. The current proposal increases restrictions solely on the import and export of elephant tusk and rhinoceros horn and does not apply to Canadian wildlife. However, the Department recognizes this concern and will continue to communicate the sustainable management of Canadian species in international forums.
The fur association, the hunting organization and two of the conservation organizations indicated that sufficient protection already exists through the controls established under CITES, which Canada already implements. The Department notes that the controls established by CITES came into effect in 1975 for elephants and 1977 for rhinoceros. Despite these controls, global populations of elephants and rhinoceros have continued to decline.1,2 The proposed Amendments would reduce Canada’s participation in the global trade of elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn and could encourage a more concerted global effort to do more to protect these species. The association of antique dealers highlighted that government should be cautious of unintended consequences of new restrictions and the historic importance of ivory in the manufacture of art and artefacts. The import and export of elephant ivory art, artefacts, and antiques will not see increased restrictions by the proposed Amendments, unless these items consist of raw elephant ivory. Items of worked elephant ivory imported for commercial purposes currently require a permit. This requirement will be maintained with the proposed Amendments.
One of the conservation organizations also noted that regulated trade via CITES brings positive economic benefits for African communities. The proposed Amendments do not prevent participation in legal elephant and rhinoceros hunts, the revenues of which can bring economic benefits to African communities. Recent research examined the economic impact of trophy hunting in South Africa.footnote 5 Of the survey respondents, only 6% were Canadian and the most popular species being hunted were impala, warthog and springbok. These results suggest that the proposed Amendments will have a negligible impact on any potential economic benefits derived from Canadian hunters.
Modern treaty obligations and Indigenous engagement and consultation
Departmental officials met with the National Inuit Wildlife Committee as an early engagement and to ask for comments on the draft discussion document on the potential actions to increase trade controls in elephant ivory trade in Canada. Participants from the National Inuit Wildlife Committee included representatives of the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC), Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated (NTI), the Inuvialuit Game Council, the Makivik Corporation, the Nunatsiavut Government, and the Inuvialuit Corporate Group. A second meeting was held before the public consultations were launched. Comments and feedback were provided during these two meetings. The National Inuit Wildlife Committee raised concerns with potential future implications of the proposed Amendments. They noted that Inuit hold legally and constitutionally recognized, protected Indigenous rights to harvest and use walrus and narwhal (species that both have ivory tusks), and expressed concern with the precedent Canada may set if introducing additional elephant ivory trade controls without providing evidence of a direct conservation benefit. The result could be that other countries may be more likely to take unilateral action to impose trade restrictions on Canadian species.
An Assessment of Modern treaty Implications (AMTI) was conducted for the proposed Amendments to the Regulations. The AMTI examined the geographical scope and subject matter of the proposed Amendments in relation to modern treaties in effect and did not identify any potential modern treaty impacts. The current proposal increases restrictions solely on the import and export of elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn and does not apply to Canadian wildlife. Therefore, the proposal is not expected to affect modern treaty agreements or result in any new restrictions or prohibitions that affect the recognized and affirmed rights of local Indigenous communities. However, the Department will continue to communicate the sustainable management of Canadian species in international forums.
Canada implements wildlife trade controls through the Act and its Regulations. The Act allows for regulations respecting the issuance, renewal, revocation and suspension of import and export permits. Ensuring stringent and tangible trade controls by limiting the circumstances in which permits may be issued is best achieved through regulatory changes; therefore, other instruments were not considered.
Benefits and costs
This analysis presents the incremental impacts, both benefits and costs, of the proposed Amendments. Incremental impacts are defined as the difference between the baseline scenario and the scenario in which the proposed Amendments are implemented over the same time period. The baseline scenario consists of the continuity of current elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn trade requirements, whereas the regulatory scenario includes increased restrictions on the import and export of raw elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn as well as additional permit requirements for worked/carved elephant ivory or rhinoceros horn. An analytical period of 10 years has been selected over the 2023–2032 period. Unless otherwise noted, cost estimates over 10 years are shown in present value terms and are discounted at 3%, and all monetary values reported below are in 2023 constant dollars.
Overall, the proposed Amendments are expected to benefit Canadian society by increasing Canada’s contribution to international efforts to preserve elephant and rhinoceros populations, and improve knowledge of Canada’s participation in the trade.
The Department estimates that the costs associated with the proposed Amendments are approximately $5.7 million over the analytical time frame. The majority of these costs ($5.5 million) are to the Government of Canada, with the greater part being for enforcement activities ($5.3 million), as well as processing permit applications, and compliance and promotion activities.
Although Canada is a small market for raw elephant ivory and raw rhinoceros horn trade, the proposed Amendments are expected to contribute to international efforts undertaken to reduce declines of certain elephant and rhinoceros populations. As the world’s largest terrestrial mammals, and given they are unique-looking and exotic animals, elephants and rhinoceros, although not endemic to Canada, are amongst the most iconic international species appreciated by Canadians. As evidence, they can be found in multiple zoos across Canada,footnote 6 helping to attract visitors. They can also be found throughout many books and stories for children sold in Canada. Studies conducted in other countries found that citizens of these countries had a positive willingness to pay for conservation of foreign species or for restoration of foreign habitat.footnote 7 As such, it is reasonable to assume that Canadians likely attribute value to the existence of iconic foreign species such as elephants and rhinoceros and may experience satisfaction at attempts to preserve their populations, wherever those may be.
Collection of data on ivory and horn trade
The proposed Amendments may also facilitate border controls by removing the requirement to differentiate between types of elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn that require permits and those that do not. Additional permit requirements would also enable the collection of more data and provide a clearer portrait of Canada’s footprint in the elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn international trade. This would ensure the Government of Canada has the data necessary to determine whether it needs to take further steps to help curb the country’s participation in the trade.
Cost savings for stakeholders and Government of Canada from fewer permit applications
As raw elephant ivory and raw rhinoceros horn import/export would be restricted under the proposed Amendments and not eligible for permits, stakeholders would no longer need to apply for permits for trading these, which would save them a small amount of time. It would also save time, and thus costs, to the Government of Canada for having to review fewer permit applications. Raw elephant ivory and raw rhinoceros horn known trade represented approximately 14 tusks annually from 2015 to 2021, and approximately two horns annually from 2012 to 2021. Using the 2021 average Canadian hourly wage rate,footnote 8 and given that a permit request form takes about 45 minutes to fill on average, cost savings over 10 years are estimated at $4,000 for applicants. The associated decrease in permit applications processing costs is expected to provide cost savings of $3,000 to the Government of Canada over 10 years.
Costs to stakeholders
Stakeholders already apply for a permit to import or export items containing worked or carved elephant ivory or rhinoceros horn. However, there is an exemption for personal or household items, for which stakeholders do not need to apply for a permit to import into or export from Canada. As the proposed Amendments remove this exemption, this would generate additional administrative costs for those individuals or businesses who move these items into or from Canada. The businesses referred to are almost entirely expected to be moving companies contracted by individuals, who choose to offer their clients the service of applying for the required permits on the clients’ behalf. According to the CITES database, the known number of personal or household items containing worked/carved elephant tusks and rhinoceros horns imported into or exported from Canada approximated 1 000 items annually between 2015 and 2021. Although many of these items may have been bulked in single permit applications (e.g. piano keys), given the lack of data on annual number of permits, the analysis assumes that all items traded have been subject to independent permit applications as a conservative precaution (i.e. 1 000 per year). It is assumed that clients will have to pay for the service of having the moving company apply for a permit on their behalf. Using the 2021 average Canadian hourly wage rate,footnote 8 and given that a permit request form takes about 45 minutes to fill on average, the expected costs to Canadians for moving personal or household items into or out of Canada associated with the time required for each applicant to fill a new permit application are estimated at a maximum of $240,000 over the next 10 years.
The increased restrictions on import and export of raw elephant ivory and raw rhinoceros horn could discourage Canadians from booking hunting trips abroad in the hope of bringing back elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn trophies specifically. Although this could affect activities of certain outfitters, taxidermists and travel agencies that specialize in organizing such hunting trips, it is assumed that hunters would most likely substitute these trips for other hunting trips and bring other trophies back. Additionally, statistics on imports of raw elephant ivory and raw rhinoceros horn in Canada show that very few Canadians engage in these overseas activities. As a result, the impacts on companies and the inconvenience caused to Canadian hunters are expected to be negligible overall. Nevertheless, some of these Canadians may incur moderate losses of well-being from not being able to bring elephant ivory or rhinoceros horn trophies back from their hunting trips.
There may be impacts to Canadians who currently own raw elephant ivory or raw rhinoceros horns and are planning to move out of Canada with these products. They will not be permitted to take the raw product outside the country. However, it is unknown how many individuals would be emigrating from Canada with raw products. Individuals who own these items may derive welfare from the possession of such a product, especially if they acquired it through a hunt themselves. As such, no longer possessing the item will lower the welfare of these individuals, the value of which cannot be assessed.
Costs to the Government of Canada
The additional permit requirements for elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn that has been carved or shaped would lead to new permit applications annually that would need to be processed by the Department. Compliance promotion and communication with affected Canadians and business owners would be required to ensure awareness of and compliance with the new restrictions and requirements. This may take the form of targeted letters, web content, posters and/or brochures. Intensive efforts in the first year will be a priority, targeting auction houses, antique dealers, art collectors, taxidermists, and other regulated communities. Compliance promotion costs could range between $10,000 and $15,000 for the first year of implementation and would be minimal in following years. Permit application processing is estimated to cost $210,000 to the Government of Canada over 10 years.footnote 14
Enforcement activities to ensure compliance with the proposed amendments include pre-operational activities such as intelligence analysis, enforcement strategy development, engagement with partners, science and technology research, as well as training. They also include operational activities such as inspections, investigations, operations, prosecution, analysis, administration, and coordination. The proposed Amendments would result in additional verification of required permits at the borders, in addition to expected detection of unlawful exports and imports from individuals and organized crime entities. Due to the difficulty in detecting and identifying items made of ivory, subject matter experts would be required to help verify compliance and conduct criminal investigations, which are time intensive. It is also estimated that expenses associated with carbon-14 testing would be needed to verify compliance and ensure the enforceability of further restrictions. Costs associated with these activities are estimated at $680,000 in the first year of implementation, and $590,000 in subsequent years, for a total of $5.3 million over 10 years. The associated costs would be sourced from existing departmental funds.
|Impacted stakeholder||Description of cost||Present value over 10 years|
|Government||Enforcement activities||$5.3 million|
|Government||Permit applications processing||$210,000|
|Government||Compliance promotion||$10,000 to $15,000|
|Canadians||Administrative burden of applying for permits||$240,000|
|All stakeholders||Total costs||$5.7 million|
Small business lens
Some small businesses, such as taxidermists, outfitters, and travel agencies that specialize in organizing hunting trips to locations where elephants and rhinoceroses live, may incur negative impacts from a slight decrease in their pool of customers using their services, due to the proposed increased restrictions on imports of raw elephant ivory and raw rhinoceros horn. However, impacts on these stakeholders are expected to remain negligible due to the minimal size of the marketfootnote 9 and the associated small number of Canadians expected to engage in such hunting and bringing back elephant tusks or rhinoceros horns as trophies. Additionally, it is likely that Canadian hunters will choose to substitute with other types of hunting trips instead of not going on hunting trips, therefore mitigating impacts on these stakeholders.
Moving companies can sometimes be contracted to move belongings of individuals into or outside Canada. These companies could offer to their clients the service of applying, on their clients’ behalf, for the permit required to move items containing carved or shaped elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn. However, for moving companies considered to be a small business, it is expected that they would pass on the permit application costs directly to their clients, and therefore resulting in no impacts for these businesses.
There is no increase in administrative burden for Canadian businesses that import and/or export items containing carved or shaped elephant ivory or rhinoceros horn.
There is a small decrease in administrative burden expected for those Canadian businesses that currently import or export raw elephant ivory or raw rhinoceros horn, as the proposed Amendments would remove the need to apply for a permit for these purposes. According to the CITES database, 9 raw elephant tusks were traded in Canada for commercial purposes between 2015 and 2021. As the database does not detail the purpose of trade of raw rhinoceros horn, the analysis assumes that the entirety of raw rhinoceros horn trade was conducted by businesses, which equals to 13 specimens between 2015 and 2021. As such, it is assumed that there would be a decrease of three permit applications from businesses annually associated with the cessation of raw ivory and rhinoceros horn trade. This translates into an annualized administrative costs savings to applicants of $55.47footnote 10 over 10 years.
Regulatory cooperation and alignment
Increased restrictions on the import and export of raw elephant ivory and raw rhinoceros horn, beyond what is required by CITES, would further limit the number of specimens entering Canada and the global market. Implementing permitting requirements beyond those required by CITES and subjecting all elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn in Canada to import and export permits would also improve monitoring of elephant tusk and rhinoceros horn trade to provide a more complete picture of Canada’s participation in this trade and facilitate border controls. The proposal would more closely align Canada with regulations in place in the United States (U.S.) and the United Kingdom (U.K.). The U.S. and the U.K. have implemented trade controls for elephant ivory that are stricter than those required by CITES. Both have near complete bans on the international trade of elephant ivory for commercial purposes and require permits for import/export of non-commercial ivory.
Strategic environmental assessment
A Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) was conducted for the proposed Amendments to the Regulations. The SEA concluded that the proposal is not likely to result in important environmental effects. Contributions to the 2022-2026 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) of the proposed amendments are expected to be negligible given that elephants and rhinoceros are not native to Canada. The proposal would contribute to efforts against poaching and the illicit trade in elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn and help Canada meet its international commitments related to wildlife by supporting the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the G7 2030 Nature Compact, and the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) 2030 targets.
The proposal will support progress toward SDG 15: Life on Land by contributing to the following SDG 15 targets:
- Take urgent action to end poaching and trafficking of protected species of flora and fauna and address both demand and supply of illegal wildlife products
- Enhance global support for efforts to combat poaching and trafficking of protected species
The proposal will contribute to the G7 2030 Nature Compact, which commits to the global mission to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030, by supporting the following pillars:
- Pillar one: Leading the Transition to sustainable and legal use of natural resources by increasing efforts to counter crimes that affect the environment
- Pillar three: Protecting, Conserving and Restoring nature, including through ambitious global targets
The proposal will also contribute to the following 2030 targets of the GBF, adopted at the 15th Conference of Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity:
- Target 4: Ensure urgent management actions, to halt human induced extinction of known threatened species and for the recovery and conservation of species, in particular threatened species, to significantly reduce extinction risk, as well as to maintain and restore the genetic diversity within and between populations of native, wild and domesticated species to maintain their adaptive potential
- Target 5: Ensure that the use, harvesting and trade of wild species is sustainable, safe and legal, and preventing overexploitation
Gender-based analysis plus
A gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) was performed to evaluate whether sex, gender, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, income, education, employment status, language, visible minority status, disability or religion could influence how a person is impacted by the proposed Amendments.
Information on the demographics of big game hunters is limited. Permit applications do not collect data on demographics, therefore these details of individuals who have requested a permit for elephant ivory or rhinoceros horn is unknown. Based on a 2014 study by Research Resolutions & Consulting Ltd.footnote 11, almost all hunters making overnight trips are men (87%). Among tourists, there is evidence that hunting trips across Canada are predominantly undertaken by men. Another study that looked specifically at big game hunters in Oregonfootnote 12 found that respondents were overwhelmingly male (82%), Caucasian (96%), and more than half of the respondents (55%) belonged to the age group “51 years or older.” A study from 2018 that looked specifically at trophy hunters in South Africa surveyed individuals that had hunted for trophies in South Africa during the period 2015/16. The respondents to the questionnaire were predominantly male (97%) with an average age of 60.6 years and 90% had a post-secondary education. The average amount spent per individual for the entire trip was approximately $28,000 USD (approximately $39,000 CAD). Only 6% of respondents were Canadian.footnote 5
As a result of this analysis, while these proposed Amendments would be applicable to all Canadians, it is possible that Caucasian men will be more negatively impacted by the increased restrictions on import and export raw elephant tusk and rhinoceros horn. Although the proposed Amendments do not prohibit the legal hunting of elephants and rhinoceros, these restrictions would impact the ability to return with elephant tusk and rhinoceros horn hunting trophies as well as move internationally with trophies that were already acquired. The analysis indicated that the proposed Amendments are not expected to have any negative impacts on any other particular groups on the basis of other identity factors such as culture, religion, sexual orientation, age, mental or physical disability, and income.
Implementation, compliance and enforcement
The proposed Amendments would come into force upon registration. Raw items, as well as worked items that previously would have fallen under the personal and household effects permitting exemption that arrive in Canada (their final destination) after the proposed Amendments come into force would be allowed to be imported/exported if it can be demonstrated by the sender that the original shipment was initiated before the Amendments came into force.
The Department works in partnership with a broad range of enforcement partners to promote and secure compliance with the Act/the Regulations. These partners include the Canada Border Services Agency, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Transport Canada, Natural Resources Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, provincial and territorial law enforcement, and conservation authorities, as well as the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. The Department also promotes and verifies compliance with CITES on the international stage. It is an active partner with the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) participating yearly in Operation Thunder, an INTERPOL and World Customs Organization operation targeting the illegal trafficking of CITES species. In anticipation of the proposed Amendments coming into force, the Department will meet with its partners, in particular the Canada Border Services Agency’s officers, to ensure that their knowledge is up to date to assist with inspection efforts at border control points.
Compliance promotion initiatives educate Canadians about the impacts of illegal wildlife trade and provide information on the plant and animal species that cannot be moved across Canadian borders without a permit. A compliance strategy has been developed to support implementation of the proposed Amendments. Compliance promotion and communication with business owners and affected Canadians will take place to ensure awareness of and compliance with the new restrictions and requirements. This may take the form of targeted letters, web and social media content, posters and/or brochures. Intensive efforts in the first year will be a priority, targeting auction houses, antique dealers, art collectors, taxidermists, and other regulated communities.
Compliance with the Act is verified by various means, such as reviewing permits, auditing importers and exporters declarations, conducting inspections at ports of entry, conducting routine or spot inspections of wildlife businesses, sharing information with border officials and other national and international agencies, gathering intelligence, and following up on tips provided by the public. Many of these actions are done by wildlife officers, with peace officer powers under the Act (e.g. inspections, right of passage, search and seizure, custody of things seized) in order to verify compliance with the legislation.
Enforcement activities are generally prioritized based on conservation risk to wildlife and wildlife habitat, as well as the level of risk of non-compliance. They may include pre-operational activities such as intelligence analysis, enforcement strategy development, engagement with partners, science & technology research, as well as training. They may also include operational activities such as inspections, investigations, operations, prosecution, analysis, administration, and coordination. Inspections are either proactively planned or conducted in response to a referral from another federal department or agency, provincial or territorial governments, or the public. Most of the inspections conducted under the Act are focused on foreign species at high conservation risk. This is attributed to the higher demand and volume of foreign species that are imported and exported internationally and inter-provincially. In cases involving minor situations of non-compliance, a warning, or ticket may be appropriate. In cases involving a serious incident of non-compliance, prosecution may be the most appropriate recourse for enforcement purposes.
Wildlife Management and Regulatory Affairs
Canadian Wildlife Service
Environment and Climate Change Canada
351 St. Joseph Blvd., 16th Floor
PROPOSED REGULATORY TEXT
Notice is given that the Governor in Council proposes to make the annexed Regulations Amending the Wild Animal and Plant Trade Regulations under section 21footnote a of the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act footnote b.
Interested persons may make representations concerning the proposed Regulations within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. They are strongly encouraged to use the online commenting feature that is available on the Canada Gazette website but if they use email, mail or any other means, the representations should cite the Canada Gazette, Part I, and the date of publication of this notice, and be sent to Caroline Ladanowski, Director, Wildlife Management and Regulatory Affairs Division, Canadian Wildlife Service, Department of the Environment, 351 Boulevard Saint-Joseph, Gatineau, Quebec, K1A 0H3 (email: ReglementsFaune-WildlifeRegulations@ec.gc.ca).
Ottawa, June 15, 2023
Assistant Clerk of the Privy Council
Regulations Amending the Wild Animal and Plant Trade Regulations
1 The Wild Animal and Plant Trade Regulations footnote 13 are amended by adding the following after section 12:
Elephant Tusk and Rhinoceros Horn
12.1 The following definitions apply in this section and sections 12.2 and 12.3.
- means a member of the species Elephas maximus, Loxodonta africana or Loxodonta cyclotis.(éléphant)
- raw horn
- means a whole rhinoceros horn or a cut piece of rhinoceros horn in any form, polished or unpolished, and includes horn that is part of a taxidermy mount, but does not include a whole horn if its entire surface has been carved or a cut piece of horn if it has been fully or partially carved or shaped. (corne brute)
- raw ivory
- means a whole elephant tusk or a cut piece of elephant tusk in any form, polished or unpolished, and includes tusk that is part of a taxidermy mount, but does not include a whole tusk if its entire surface has been carved or a cut piece of tusk if it has been fully or partially carved or shaped. (ivoire brut)
- means a member of any species of the family Rhinocerotidae. (rhinocéros)
12.2 Despite any other provision of these Regulations, a person who imports into Canada or exports from Canada any specimen of elephant tusk or rhinoceros horn is under no circumstances exempted from holding a permit issued under subsection 10(1) of the Act.
12.3 A permit issued under subsection 10(1) of the Act must not authorize the importation or exportation of a specimen of raw ivory or raw horn unless the specimen is destined for
- (a) a museum or zoo;
- (b) use in scientific research; or
- (c) use in support of law enforcement activities.
Coming into Force
2 These Regulations come into force on the day on which they are registered.
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The information you provide is collected under the authority of the Financial Administration Act, the Department of Public Works and Government Services Act, the Canada–United States–Mexico Agreement Implementation Act,and applicable regulators’ enabling statutes for the purpose of collecting comments related to the proposed regulatory changes. Your comments and documents are collected for the purpose of increasing transparency in the regulatory process and making Government more accessible to Canadians.
Personal information submitted is collected, used, disclosed, retained, and protected from unauthorized persons and/or agencies pursuant to the provisions of the Privacy Act and the Privacy Regulations. Individual names that are submitted will not be posted online but will be kept for contact if needed. The names of organizations that submit comments will be posted online.
Submitted information, including personal information, will be accessible to Public Services and Procurement Canada, who is responsible for the Canada Gazette webpage, and the federal institution managing the proposed regulatory change.
You have the right of access to and correction of your personal information. To seek access or correction of your personal information, contact the Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Office of the federal institution managing the proposed regulatory change.
You have the right to file a complaint to the Privacy Commission of Canada regarding any federal institution’s handling of your personal information.
The personal information provided is included in Personal Information Bank PSU 938 Outreach Activities. Individuals requesting access to their personal information under the Privacy Act should submit their request to the appropriate regulator with sufficient information for that federal institution to retrieve their personal information. For individuals who choose to submit comments anonymously, requests for their information may not be reasonably retrievable by the government institution.