Caribou hunters face no more charges
Dunderdale cites lack of evidence
Newfoundland and Labrador's minister of natural resources says she is disappointed that more illegal hunting charges couldn't be laid against Innu hunters from Quebec.
Kathy Dunderdale said Wednesday there wasn't enough evidence for charges beyond those laid against an Innu hunter from La Romaine, Que., who has been charged with one count of killing a threatened species and another count of possessing a specimen of an endangered species.
"This still remains a challenge to get the evidence that the courts need in order to convict somebody of illegal hunting," said Dunderdale.
Dozens of Innu hunters from Quebec hunted last year in the Joir River area of central Labrador, where protected caribou live.
Hunting in that area of central Labrador is forbidden because it is also home to the endangered Red Wine caribou herd, which mingles with other caribou species.
Officials said about 50 animals in the Joir River area were killed in last year's hunt.
Dunderdale said the department has invested in new camera gear to improve the quality of images they can gather.
Conservation officers relied on photos taken from a helicopter because it was unsafe to engage the hunters on the ground, the minister said.
Dunderdale said the province is not treating aboriginal hunters differently that other residents of Newfoundland and Labrador.