Mr. Crawford appealed a decision of the Regional Fish, Wildlife and Habitat Manager (“the Manager”) to deny him a permit to possess the horns of a mountain sheep which he had found. He wanted the horns for personal use and enjoyment only. The Manager denied the permit on the grounds that the horns were of considerable monetary value and there was “no specific reason” to issue the permit. In his submissions to the Panel, the Manager added that Mr. Crawford had removed the horns from the site where he found them without a permit.
The Panel agreed with the Manager that the horns were valuable and that commercial value is a legitimate consideration when deciding whether to issue a permit. However, the Panel found that there were “specific reasons” to issue a permit in this case. It found that Mr. Crawford had an above average interest in wildlife and the outdoors, placed great personal value on these particular horns, and had no intention of disposing of the horns for financial gain. Further, the Ministry policy at the relevant time provided that disposal of wildlife parts for “private possession” should take priority over “commercial sales”. The Panel noted that Mr. Crawford had promptly taken the horns to the Ministry and had acted in good faith throughout. The Panel gave no weight to the fact that the horns had been moved without a permit as the Manager had brought this up after making his original decision and it had not been fully argued before the Panel. The Panel ordered that Mr. Crawford be granted a permit to possess the horns. The appeal was allowed.