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Beacon Hill Considers Increasing Penalties For Wildlife Poaching

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BOSTON (AP) — A bill filed on Beacon Hill is aiming to toughen state laws against wildlife poaching, some of which haven’t been updated in decades.

The bill would increase penalties for illegal activities such as shooting animals in a wildlife sanctuary, shooting wildlife from a car and hunting while under the influence of alcohol.

It also brings Massachusetts into the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, which prevents those who’ve lost their hunting licenses in one state from crossing state lines to continue hunting in another state.

Massachusetts is one of only seven states that is not a member of the compact.

Supporters of the bill, including the Humane Society of the United States, say some of Massachusetts’ poaching penalties are among the weakest in the country and have remained unchanged since the 1930s.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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