On Nov. 25, Derren Heppner entered a guilty plea in a Burns Lake court room to charges of trafficking in moose meat under the Wildlife Act.
The guilty plea concludes an eleven-month investigation by the conservation officer Service into reports of moose meat being sold at the Lake Babine Nation gas bar.
Through the course of the investigation, seven bags of dried moose meat were seized as well as a small amount of cash. After hearing an initial sentencing position from the crown, the judge sentenced Heppner to pay a fine of $750.
Despite Heppner being a Lake Babine Nation member, this court ruling is consistent with other cases in Canada. First Nations are permitted to harvest wild game meat for social and ceremonial use, but are restricted from commercialization.
Across British Columbia it is illegal for anyone to sell wild game meat. Violations can be reported 24 hours a day to conservation officers at 1-877-952-7277.