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North Bay duo fined for selling protected wildlife

Thursday, March 13, 2014   by: Kate Adams

MNR News Release

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Two North Bay residents have been fined a total of $1,000 for illegally offering to sell specially protected wildlife.

Steve Marshall and Heather Ann Jorgensen were fined $500 each for trying to sell a mounted great horned owl and a mounted eastern screech owl, both protected under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act.

The taxidermy-mounted owls were forfeited to the Crown.

The court heard that in August 2013, Marshall and Jorgensen advertised the two owls, professionally-mounted by a taxidermist, on the internet.

Alerted by a tip from the public, a conservation officer told the pair that selling the birds was illegal and asked them to remove the ad.

When the ad was not removed, an undercover conservation officer posed as a buyer.

Marshall and Jorgensen requested $500 for the great horned owl and $600 for the eastern screech owl.

Jorgenson advised the officer that it was illegal for them to sell the items, but proceeded with the sale for an agreed-upon price of $500 for both owls.

Justice of the Peace Lauren Scully heard the case in the Ontario Court of Justice, North Bay, on February 19, 2014.

The ministry reminds the public that they cannot buy or sell specially protected wildlife or species on the Species at Risk in Ontario List.

The sale of these species, whole or in part, alive or dead, can result in significant penalties.

To report a natural resources violation, call 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667) toll-free any time or contact your local ministry office during regular business hours.

You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

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