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Company, 12 people face charges related to alleged illegal hunting of caribou

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HAPPY VALLEY GOOSE BAY, N.L. - Twelve people and a company are facing charges related to allegations of illegal hunting of caribou from the George River herd in Labrador.

A year ago, the provincial government announced a hunting ban on all caribou in Labrador for a five-year period for conservation purposes.

The province's Justice Department says shortly after the ban was announced, police conducted an investigation into allegations that people were violating it in the Shipiskan Lake region.

All of the charges relate to incidents alleged to have taken place from March 10 to 12 of last year.

Those charged include Wilderness North Air, a fly-in company based in Thunder Bay, Ont.

Recent census work by the province indicates the George River herd stands at fewer than 20,000 animals, representing a decline of 70 per cent since the July 2010 estimate of 74,000 caribou.

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