Poaching legislation moving through the House
Poaching legislation continues to make progress during the 100th meeting of the General Assembly. The Missouri House of Representatives will soon take up for debate legislation to impose civil penalties for poaching. House Bill 260 is sponsored by Representative Jered Taylor (Nixa). The bill has also been listed in the Senate under Senate Bill 356, which is sponsored by Senator Mike Bernskoetter (Jefferson City).
The Conservation Federation of Missouri applauds the work of both the House and the Senate on these bills so far. We ask our members to show their support to their respective state representative and senators in hopes to get these bills enacted into law. It also comes on the heels of poaching cases where elk have been illegally taken from the landscape.
Current poaching fines are so low they do not function as a meaningful deterrent, exposing our public wildlife resource to abuse and exploitation by those willing to ignore the law. The fees outlined in both bills would take fines from $2,500 to $5,000 for poaching black bear or elk, $1,000 to $2,000 for poaching deer, $500 to $1,000 for poaching paddlefish and $375 to $750 for poaching wild turkey.
These bills specify that the court may require any person found guilty of chasing, pursuing, taking, transporting, killing, processing, or disposing of certain wildlife in violation of the Missouri Conservation Commission’s rules and regulations to make restitution to the state’s education fund.
Information and updates on these bills and others, can be found utilizing CFM’s Legislative Action Center: www.confedmo.org/lac
Full bill text for each of these bills can be found online: