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Old 06-22-03, 10:19 AM   #12 (permalink)
Scales Zoo
Please Email Boots
Join Date: Mar-2007
Posts: 1,867
Hi Cas.

In Canada, because we as a nation seem to feel that we need to make international laws somewhat unique and confusing, Wappriita was formed.

These are laws for dealing with interprovincial movement of captive wildlife - but they are confusing and seem only to be enforced when a problem arises, or when someone asks about them.

We, as a zoo, make sure to follow every law (that we are aware of). When we buy or sell animals across provincial borders, an export permit from the province as well as an import permit to the province is required. (Sometimes all we are responsible for is the import permit, when bringing animals in - or the export permit when selling some)

Even when we take animals to shows, we have to get a "special permit", much like a temporary shelter permit - which strictly states the dates, the species and the physical address that the animals are going to be at.

These permits are granted to us by the provincial fish and wildlife of whatever provinces we are dealing with.

The permits in Saskatchewan are free; In Alberta they are $20. A health certificate is supposed to go along with the permit, but only a few offices have ever requested one. (We have a vet inspect all of our animals each year, so we have a valid certificate for travelling outside of Sask)

We have never been asked for CITES paperwork for any animal.

The one thing I can say about these laws, they are interpreted differently by many people who are supposed to enforce them - and many times aren't enforced at all.

I think they realize that countless reptiles, and other animals, are brought across provincial lines all of the time. Very few people know that they are supposed to get permits any time they take animals across the border. There are a few officers who are real sticklers for the law - so it is best to try and follow the laws.

We did bring one Appendix 1 animal into the province, but weren't asked for proof of origin. I think technically we should have needed to prove that they were captive bred from stock animals that had CITES paperwork for importation into Canada - but we were not asked to do so.

I have been told by one wildlife official that it is "easier to ask for forgiveness, than permission" and it seems that many provincial fish and wildlife offices would rather not be bothered by another law to enforce. Sometimes some of them even seem irritated that we want all of the proper permits written - but in our position, we want to make sure that everything we do is completely above board as I would hate to ever lose our permits because of a small screw up.

There are many (the majority actually) officers however, that are happy to write us permits because they know someone is trying to follow the laws. From a few little things they have said, I suspect that they will be doing more to enforce these laws in the future, and to have people comply with them.

Feel free to read the Wappriita act, it is one of the hardest laws to read through and interpret that I have ever read. Leave it to Canada to make their simplification of CITES, as it applies in Canada, a lot more difficult and open to interpretation (unless you are a legal secretary).



You had asked how the laws apply differntly for a zoo than for your average joe. They don't differ at all. We have to do the same thing for our personal collection at home.

I've been led to beleive (by environment Canada), however, that it would be easier for the zoo to have CITES paperwork issued if the need arose (for shipping to the U.S), and that we could get animals that were confiscated and thought to have been smuggled, or obtained in another illegal way). I kind of doubt this, but haven't had the chance to test it. Maybe someday some kid will bring a Mata Mata with him back from Disney land as a pet.
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