POACHING

By Bob Katzen

Governor Baker signed into law a measure that would regulate poaching—the illegal hunting that harms or kills wildlife including fish, birds, mammals and endangered or threatened species. Other provisions elevate the fines and penalties for poaching; align Massachusetts poaching regulations with other states; and bring Massachusetts into the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, which helps states work together to prevent illegal hunting across state lines.

Supporters said that it has been close to 100 years since many of the state’s anti-poaching laws were last updated and noted the absence of action on these laws has resulted in weak, outdated penalties that are just a slap on the wrist.

“After nearly a century, Massachusetts’ anti-poaching laws have finally been brought up to meet the standards of the 21st century,” said sponsor Sen. Mike Moore (D-Millbury). “No longer will the Bay State serve as a safe haven for poachers. By joining the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, Massachusetts will begin sharing information with law enforcement in all 50 states to ensure poachers can’t simply cross state lines to evade accountability. The commonwealth is also increasing the fines and penalties levied onto violators of our wildlife protection laws, making it clear that we will protect our ecosystems from those who wish to do it harm.”

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