The HSUS Applauds Gov. Rendell for Cracking Down on Poaching

The Humane Society of the United States praised Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell for signing an important bill that cracks down on poachers who attempt to hunt in Pennsylvania when their licenses have been suspended in other states. The legislation passed the House on Sept. 13 by a vote of 178 to 15 and previously passed the Senate in March.

S.B. 1200 — introduced by Sen. Richard Alloway, R-Franklin/Adams/York — allows Pennsylvania to join the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, a nationwide law enforcement network that aims to prevent wildlife criminals who have lost their hunting privileges in one member state from hunting in another. Pennsylvania will join 35 other states in the Compact, including neighboring New York, Ohio, West Virginia and Maryland.

“This legislation is a significant step forward,” said Gov. Rendell. “It will make it easier for us to ensure that poachers do not prey on endangered species and that game is not taken out of season.”

“Our state shouldn’t serve as a safe haven for poachers, and now that Governor Rendell has signed S.B. 1200, Pennsylvania has the law enforcement tools it needs to crack down on these wildlife criminals,” said Sarah Speed, Pennsylvania state director for The HSUS. “The Humane Society of the United States applauds Governor Rendell for signing this broadly supported bill into law.”

Earlier this month, another HSUS-supported anti-poaching bill, H.B. 1859, went into effect in Pennsylvania. The measure increases the penalties for a variety of poaching crimes and introduces felony level penalties for repeat poaching and “thrill-killing.”

Facts:

  • Since 2008, The HSUS has offered more than $250,000 in reward funds for information leading to the arrest and conviction of criminals responsible for poaching.
  • Every year, thousands of poachers are arrested nationwide; however, it is estimated that only 1 to 5 percent of poached animals are ever recovered by law enforcement. Poachers kill wildlife anytime, anywhere and sometimes do so in particularly cruel ways.
  • Poachers exploit animals for personal gain or thrill, knowing they will most likely not be caught. With each conservation officer covering vast areas, strong penalties and collaboration with other states are essential components of any law enforcement effort.

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