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Stratford Area Man Convicted of Killing Swan and Destroying Eggs

STRATFORD, Ont. -- January 11, 2011 -- Luke Van Nes of Perth South, Ontario, was sentenced on January 10, 2011, in the Ontario Court of Justice in Stratford, to a fine of $1,000 to be made payable to the Environmental Damages Fund. The sentencing is a result of Mr. Van Nes pleading guilty to unlawfully destroying seven Mute swan eggs, on or about May 30, 2010, contrary to subsection 6(a) of the Migratory Birds Regulations, thereby committing an offence under section 13 of the Migratory Birds Conventions Act, 1994.  

Mr. Van Nes was also sentenced to seven days imprisonment, 60 hours of community service and 2 years probation under the Criminal Code of Canada section 445(a) for the killing of a Mute swan.

On May 30, 2010, a Mute swan was found dead in the Avon River by a Stratford citizen. The Stratford Police Service investigated, made an arrest and laid a charge under the Criminal Code of Canada, for the killing of the swan. Mr. Van Nes later pleaded guilty to the criminal charge. Environment Canada’s Enforcement Branch also laid charges, in relation to the destruction of the eggs, under the Migratory Birds Conventions Act, 1994.

The Mute swan, had been beaten and tossed in the Avon River. It was determined by the University of Guelph’s Animal Health Laboratory that the swan’s death was caused by blunt force trauma. Some of the swan’s seven eggs were destroyed by being tossed into the river, some were smashed on the road, and others were discarded in a soccer field. It was one of several Mute swans that the Stratford Board of Park Management owns and manages under the authority of an aviculture permit issued pursuant to the Migratory Birds Regulations.

Environment Canada supports the conservation and protection of Canada’s natural environment through the enforcement of the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994, Canada Wildlife Act, Species at Risk Act, and the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act.

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