Governor O’Malley Signs New Laws to Deter Wildlife Poaching
Annapolis, Md. (May 22, 2012) - Today, Governor Martin O’Malley signed House Bill 1052 into law. The legislation, sponsored by Delegate Wendell Beitzel and Delegate Barbara Frush, will improve the enforcement of wildlife laws and deter wildlife poaching.
“Poaching is an intolerable criminal act,” said Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Secretary John R. Griffin. “We appreciate Delegate Beitzel and Delegate Frush’s support and leadership to help us properly penalize those who violate wildlife in our State.”
House Bill 1052 will increase accountability for hunters as the legislation authorizes DNR to suspend the hunting license and hunting privileges of individuals convicted of egregious poaching violations.
“As an avid hunter, I was very troubled to hear of individuals who failed to hunt game responsibly,” said Delegate Beitzel. “My legislation establishes an appropriate penalty for those whom abuse their responsibility to abide by our wildlife laws. Now the courts and DNR may revoke hunting privileges after a conviction on charges for game violations.”
“Maryland sportsmen have no tolerance for those who violate our wildlife laws,” said David Sutherland, Chair of the Maryland Legislative Sportsmen’s Foundation. “Led by sportsmen and defended by sportsmen, this historic Act makes clear that poaching of wildlife in Maryland must come to an immediate halt or face the loss of up to 5 years of hunting privileges in the Free State.”
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages nearly one-half million acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 11 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov.