Keywords: Wildlife Act – ss. 2, 19; Permit Regulation – ss. 1, 2(k), 2(p), 6; transfer of property in wildlife; peregrine falcon; value of wildlife; threatened species; red list
William Cheal appealed the decision of the District Conservation Officer (“CO”) refusing to issue him a permit transferring property in a dead peregrine falcon. The permit was refused because the CO estimated the value of the falcon to be over $200. The Appellant appealed on the grounds that he questioned the CO’s estimate of the falcon’s value, that his questions regarding the falcon’s health were unanswered, and that the decision denied his right to learn about his environment.
At the hearing, the Appellant indicated his intention to have a complete autopsy performed on the falcon. It was also his intention to donate the mounted falcon to a school or museum in the area in which it had been found.
The Board found that the CO was prohibited by the legislation from determining the value of the falcon as only the Regional Manager was authorized to make that determination. The Board also found that the value may only be determined based on the average price received at previous B.C. government auction of the same species of similar description. The CO based his estimate on values for different bird species and peregrine falcons auctioned in other provinces.
The Board heard evidence that the falcon was of the subspecies of peregrine falcon that is on the province’s “Red List” of species which have or are candidates for extirpated, endangered, or threatened status. As the legislation prohibits the issuing of a permit transferring property in wildlife for threatened species, the Board found that it was not able to grant a permit to the Appellant. The Board recommended that the falcon be used for scientific or educational purposes, rather than being sold at auction.