Department of Conservation v Xu [2020] NZDC 3891

Published 10 June 2020

Sentencing — trading in specimen of endangered species — bear bile — discharge without conviction — name suppression — Harrison v Ministry for Primary Industries [2017] NZHC 146 — Vesely v Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry HC Wellington AP57/03, 27 March 2003 — Department of Conservation v Jiang, DC Manukau, CRI-2012-092-014549, 10 July 2013 — R v Nicholas, CA 406/02, CA 417/02, 16 June 2003 — D v Police [2015] NZCA 541, (2015) 27 CRNZ 614 — Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora — Trade in Endangered Species Act 1989, ss 17-20 — Sentencing Act 2002 — Criminal Procedure Act 2011, s 200. The defendant appeared for sentence on a charge of trading in a specimen of an endangered species. She had arrived at Auckland Airport on a flight from China carrying 12 vials of Asiatic Black Bear bile, which she failed to declare to Customs. The Asiatic Black Bear is listed in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species as being endangered, and the practice of farming it for its bile is considered cruel. Further, over a 10-year period the defendant had received three warnings for importing products made from endangered species into New Zealand. The Court refused an application to discharge the defendant without conviction, and adopted a start point for sentence of a $10,000 fine. This was reduced to $7500 for the defendant's guilty plea. The Court also refused an application for permanent suppression of the defendant's name. Judgment Date: 3 March 2020.