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May 3, 2010

The HSUS and Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust Offer Reward in Pa. Porcupine Killings

The Humane Society of the United States and The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust are offering a reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the illegal killing and dumping of nine porcupines in Lycoming County, Pa.

The Case:

According to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, on April 5, a Lycoming Township employee reported nine porcupines dumped in front of a recycling bin at the township building on Dauber Road. Eight of the porcupines had been fatally shot, and the ninth had to be euthanized. One of the porcupines had been skinned.

"This egregious case reflects the need for tough laws to crack down on poaching in Pennsylvania. We urge the Senate Appropriations Committee and the House Game and Fish Committee to quickly approve H.B. 1859 and S.B. 1200, two bills that will provide crucial deterrents to poaching," said Sarah Speed, Pennsylvania state director for The HSUS. "The Humane Society of the United States applauds the Pennsylvania Game Commission for its efforts to find those responsible for this serious crime."

A spokesperson from the Pennsylvania Game Commission said, "As the state's wildlife management agency, the PGC has been cracking down on poaching since its creation in 1895. Without funding from state taxpayers, the Game Commission seeks to prosecute poachers who steal from all Pennsylvanians."

The individual or individuals responsible for this crime are facing charges that include unlawful taking of wildlife and unlawful disposition of killed or wounded wildlife.

Poaching:

  • Pennsylvania has some of the weakest penalties for poaching in the country. H.B. 1859, legislation currently awaiting action in the Pennsylvania Senate Appropriations Committee, would increase penalties for a wide range of wildlife crimes, from killing endangered species to operating commercial poaching operations. It also elevates habitual poaching to a felony and for the first time imposes the possibility of jail time for many wildlife crimes. 
  • S.B. 1200, currently awaiting action in the House Game and Fisheries Committee, would allow Pennsylvania to join the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, a nationwide law enforcement network aimed at keeping poachers who have lost their hunting privileges in one state from hunting in another. Since its institution in 1989, 34 states, including Ohio, Maryland, West Virginia and New York, have joined the Compact.
  • Wildlife officials estimate that for every wild animal killed legally — tens of millions of animals per year — another is killed illegally.
  • Every year, thousands of poachers are arrested nationwide; however, it is estimated that only 1 percent to 5 percent of poachers are caught. Poachers kill wildlife anytime, anywhere and sometimes do so in particularly cruel ways.  Wildlife officials report that poachers often commit other crimes as well.
  • The HSUS works with state and federal wildlife agencies to offer rewards of $2,500 for information leading to arrest and conviction of suspected poachers.

The Investigators:

Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the Northcentral Regional Office at 570-398-4744 or Turn in a Poacher (TIP) hotline at 1-888-742-8001. Callers may remain anonymous.

The HSUS works to stop wildlife abuse across the country. Visit humanesociety.org/wildlifeabuse for more information.

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The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the Web at humanesociety.org.

Follow The HSUS on Twitter. See our work for animals on your iPhone by searching "HumaneTV" in the App Store.

Since 1993 the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust, alone or in partnership with other conservation groups, has participated in the protection of more than 1.8 million acres of wildlife habitat in 37 states, including 240 acres in Montana, and seven foreign countries. On all properties owned by the Trust or protected by the Trust's conservation easement, both here and abroad, we prohibit recreational and commercial hunting and trapping and restrict logging and development. The Trust's commitment to these principles will never change as we continue to assist caring landowners to make their property permanent, safe homes for wildlife. Join our online community at wildlifelandtrust.org.

Follow the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust on Twitter.

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