FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State Rep. Edward G. Staback
Staback recognized for poaching law
HARRISBURG, Feb. 1 – State Rep. Ed Staback, D-Lackawanna/Wayne, received an award this week from the Pennsylvania State Game Commission for his efforts to improve Pennsylvania's poaching laws.
"I'm honored that the Game Commission felt fit to recognize me today," Staback said. "I worked with the commission on the poaching bill for more than two years, and I'm pleased that there finally are stiff consequences for poachers. All around the state, reports are coming in of law enforcement and judges taking these kinds of offenses very seriously. There already have been high fines and jail time invoked for the worst offenders."
In a ceremony today, Carl Roe, executive director of the Game Commission and Jay Delaney, president of the Board of Commissioners, presented Staback with a plague for his leadership in increasing penalties for poaching and other wildlife violations.
Last session, Staback led the way for a new poaching law that makes Pennsylvania a leader among other hunting states in the way it treats these unethical practices.
The law, known as Act 54 of 2010, rewrites much of the penalty section of the Game Code. It significantly increased fines and penalties for violations of the Game Code relating to the illegal killing of game or wildlife, especially for the illegal taking of big game.
Under the new law, illegally shooting a deer out of season or at night with a light carries at least a $1,000 fine, up from the customary $200 to $300, with the possibility of up to three months in jail. The punishment for shooting other big game or multiple deer is increased from summary offenses to misdemeanors and, in some cases, felonies.
The law also addresses the growing commercialization of animal parts. That trend is addressed by increasing the punishments, including high fines and more serious charges of misdemeanors and felonies.
Staback thanked the commission for its recognition and cooperation with him as he worked to keep the tough penalties in the bill.
"There were some out there who thought the law was too tough," Staback said. "I never did. The penalties are stiff and are made that way so they will be a deterrent to illegal activities against our state’s wildlife. Time will tell if that is the case, but in the meantime, poachers in Pennsylvania are finding out that the days of mere slaps on the wrists and light summary fines for these crimes are definitely over."