Northern Saskatchewan man fined $14.5K for trafficking bear gallbladders

Originally seen in Fish’n Canada’s Week in Review

As reported by the CBC, Roger McCallum Jr, a northern Saskatchewan native, made headlines on Tuesday when he pleaded guilty to a long list of fish and wildlife infractions – one of which was trafficking and selling bear gallbladders.

The man was caught after attempting to sell a bear gallbladder to an undercover officer. According to the CBC, the man also went on to try to enlist the officer in selling illegal animal parts for him.

For those unfamiliar with the trade, Bear are the only mammals that produce significant amounts of the bile called Tauro Ursodeoxycholic Acid (UDCA), a chemical produced in the liver and stored in the gallbladder. This bile is highly sought after for traditional Chinese medicine. Some alleged uses include:

  • treatment for intestinal, liver and cardiac illnesses
  • parasite and bacterial infections
  • anti-allergenic
  • anti-spasmodic
  • tranquilizers
  • painkillers
  • poison antidotes
  • antihypertensive and anti-coughing agents
  • cancers
  • skin rashes
  • burns and fever
  • prevent swelling

More information on this topic can be found at the link below:

In addition to trafficking gallbladders, McCallum has been also been under investigation since 2018 for various other fish and wildlife crimes including the harvesting of 29 Lake Trout in a single day and dumping usable fish in a local landfill. The full summary of his charges can be found below:

  • Illegal marketing of fish ($7,600).
  • Wasting fish ($1,400).
  • Commercial fishing without a licence ($250).
  • Trafficking in bear galls ($2,800).
  • Illegal outfitting ($1,400).
  • Illegal provision of sustenance fish ($1,050). 

Since pleading guilty, McCallum has been banned from applying for licences under the Fisheries Act for three years and is prohibited from applying for licences under the Wildlife Act for five years.

This excerpt was taken from Fish’n Canada’s Week in Review, our weekly recap of all things relevant to the Canadian outdoorsman. For more stories like this, check out the full article below and tune back in every Friday to catch up on everything you missed!