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New penalties for PA wildlife violators in 2011

From the Pennsylvania Game Commission

-- On Jan. 1 Pennsylvania will become the 36th member state of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, under which the worst of convicted wildlife violators stand to lose their hunting privileges in all states enrolled in the Compact.

Now that the state will be an  official member of the Compact, a person who loses his or her hunting license privileges in Pennsylvania for certain poaching offenses on or after Jan. 1, will lose those hunting license privileges in all states that are members of the compact.  

By the same token, those who lose their hunting privileges in other Compact member states on or after Jan. 1 will no longer be able to come to Pennsylvania and lawfully hunt.

Under the new law, the Game Commission must report to other Compact states those convicted of the following offenses under Title 34 (Game and Wildlife Code):

        . Hunting or furtaking while on revocation;
        . Unlawful use of lights to take wildlife; buying and selling game;
        . Hunting or furtaking under the influence;
        . Shooting at or causing injury to a human;
        . Counterfeit, alter or forge a license or tag;
        . Threatened or endangered species violations;
        . Assault/interference or bodily injury to a wildlife conservation officer;
        . Illegal taking or possession of big game in closed season; and
        . Accumulated wildlife violations for which the penalty provided by Title 34 is no less than a summary offense of the fourth degree and the violation is not the only violation in a 24-month period.

The law also requires the Pennsylvania Game Commission only recognize the revocation of an individual's hunting privileges in other Compact states for offenses that have the same elements of the offenses listed above.

On average, about 1,000 individuals are added to Pennsylvania's revocation list for hunting and trapping license privileges annually.  Of that, only about 25 percent would be submitted to the Compact.

Pennsylvania's enrollment in the Compact was made possible by the enactment of Senate Bill 1200 which was signed into law Sept. 24.

Member states of the IWVC are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

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