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05/02/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Syncrude Pleads Not Guilty In Death Of 1,606 Ducks (VIDEO)

Oil sand giant Syncrude pleaded not guilty in the death of 1,606 ducks in a northern Alberta tailings pond in April 2008, in a trial that began Monday. The pond was filled with tainted water that's used to remove oil from sand, CBC reported.

The Crown prosecutor, the state's legal representation, argued that the company failed at their responsibility, and the sheer number of ducks who were killed speaks to their negligence, CBC's Kim Trynacity reported.

The oil giant holds that they are not guilty, however, citing the improvements it's made since then to protect . According to Syncrude, a mistake was made, but that crimes should be punished, not mistakes.

WATCH CBC's report: