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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
An Act amending Title 34 (Game) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, further providing for the definition of "wild animals."

Prime Sponsor: Representative BAKER



http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/bill...pe=B&bn=723


Language being added ( new is underlined);


"Wild animals." All mammals other than domestic animals as

16defined in 1 Pa.C.S. § 1991 (relating to definitions). <span style="text-decoration: underline">The term </span>

17 <span style="text-decoration: underline">shall not include a species or variation of swine, pig or boar,</span>

18 <span style="text-decoration: underline">held in captivity.</span>


Legislators signing on:


INTRODUCED BY BAKER, CAUSER, KORTZ, GABLER, MURT AND DENLINGER,
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The co-sponsor memo:


MEMORANDUM

Posted: February 1, 2013 11:33 AM

From: Representative Matthew Baker

To: All House members
Subject: Amending the definition of “Wild animal” under Title 34 Pa. C.S. (Game & Wildlife Code)


In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation amending the Pennsylvania Game Code to clarify wild boars and all other variations or species of swine kept behind fences on game farms or hunting preserves are not defined as “wild animals” under the Game Code, and therefore not under the regulatory purview of the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC).

Specifically, my legislation amends the definition of “Wild animal” under Title 34 Pa. C.S. (Game & Wildlife Code) adding language to specifically provide that the definition shall not be construed to include any species or variation of pig, swine or boar held in captivity. Currently, the definition simply provides that all mammals other than domestic animals as defined under Title 1 Pa. C.S. (General Provisions) subsection 1991 (relating to definitions). The definition of “domestic animals” under Title 1 includes any equine animal, bovine animal and sheep, as well as any pig.

However, even though all variations of pigs, swine and boars share the same DNA, and the definition under Title 1 should technically include all these types of pig, the PGC has been forced by court decision to regulate “wild boars”, even if they are kept behind fences on hunting preserves or game farms. Such responsibility is generally that of the Department of Agriculture, which regulates all other non-exotic animals held in captivity, including but not limited to deer, elk, stag and sheep.

As a result of the court decision (Seeton V. PGC), the PGC has taken recent action to approve a preliminary regulation that would ban the importation of feral swine or wild boar into the Commonwealth 30 days after final approval of the regulation, and barring such animals from being held in captivity one year after final approval. Final approval is expected to be considered during the next PGC quarterly meeting April 14-15.

This proposed regulation, if put into place, would have a devastating effect on hunting preserves in our Commonwealth. I believe my legislation would effectively take regulation of any swine, boar, etc. held in captivity away from the PGC as such animals would no longer be considered “wild animals”, thus allowing our hunting preserves to continue operating as they currently are.

http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legi...;cosponId=11472
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This bill will negate the PA Supreme court mandate of authority.

Second, the bill did not get any support from other legislators.

INTRODUCED BY BAKER, CAUSER, KORTZ, GABLER, MURT AND DENLINGER,



Though this bill and maybe a few others will be introduced and expected, returning the oversight of these invasive species back to the PA Department of Ag is unwise. Ag has a history of just not doing the job. Seemingly letting the good ole boy / gal method of management rule supreme.

This state already has "escaped" feral hogs in several widely dispersed areas. These hog's as well as those still behind fences have the ability to spread disease into the wildlife population ans well as the domestic farming animal population.
 

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This stuff is coming from the hog shooting operations.
One way or another I expect them to exert enough pressure that the PGC will not be able to ban their operations.
 

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Of course, everyone nows Ag will not do a thing against these so called farmers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
We only need to look at the results of PA D Ag on the deer farms to understand what the enforcement will be like for the hog guys. There is a reason they want out of the control of the evil, task master overseer the GC is.

Same as the deer guys years ago. They clearly understood that Ag enforcement was mostly a paper tiger. They could operate as they wished out of the limelight and as they basically pleased as long as nothing got attention.

The high fence hog guys are seeking the same thing.

Personally, I would like to be at a hearing and ask these same people how the loose feral hogs is these pockets of the state got there. Then ask how they account for each and every animal on their operations, and prove it with documents for the last ten years.
 

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Swine should remain under the control of the PGC but the PGC should be working with swine operations, not looking to put them out of business.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Fine, let them stay in business, but require double fencing and the micro chipping and tattooing I proposed earlier. Then add a 20K per animal fine for any that escape and are not recaptured or killed.

Stringent reporting requirements are a must, as are the high fines.

Fines only come into play when the non-compliance happens. But they put the teeth in the reg's. That is the problem with the deer farmers / breeders. They got what they wanted in the Depart of Ag. Regs and enforcement with no teeth. So they got to keep the wild west, do as you want enforcement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
IN the house:

Reported as committed from GAME AND FISHERIES, March 13, 2013

First consideration, March 13, 2013




Look for this to be fast tracked. Both houses are running basically the very same bill.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
PN 0812 Referred to GAME AND FISHERIES, Feb. 13, 2013
Reported as committed, March 13, 2013
First consideration, March 13, 2013
Laid on the table, March 13, 2013
Removed from table, March 20, 2013
<span style="font-weight: bold"> Second consideration, April 8, 2013</span>
Re-committed to APPROPRIATIONS, April 8, 2013
(Remarks see House Journal Page ), April 8, 2013


In the house floor action, Rep HALUSKA
introduced a amendment requiring that all boars be sterile.

The language was:

(b) Sterilization of boars.--No person may keep or handle a domestic male pig for the purpose of recreational harvesting unless the pig has been rendered sterile


It failed. 93-105


This bill, if passed, effectively places feral hogs in a limbo regulatory status.

It takes any authority away from the GC. Meanwhile, I have seen no bill placing the regulatory authority under PDA (Ag). There is no bill addressing the supreme court decision placing regulatory authority under the GC.


We are seeing the legislature taking a half step that can have huge implications on not just hunters, but Pennsylvania's Ag community.


We are indeed, via the legislature, entering a wild west situation where no one is going to have the regulatory authority in the buying, selling, control, of feral hogs.
 

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Against the bill but the PGC can look right in the mirror on this one. Dumb move on their part to try to take away folks livelihoods. The PGC should be working with the pig farmers, not trying to force them out of business.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
But the legislature should address the court decision. Rather they should have done this several years ago.

The larger issue is, this is knee jerk legislation. As stated, if any of these bills pass. Wild hogs in Pennsylvania will be under no one jurisdiction. The courts having removed responsibility from Ag, and the legislature taking it away from the GC.

Failing to pass the amendment requiring sterilization of boars was a just a stupid move. It was also done fast and quietly. If any of these bills gets third consideration and goes to the other house, i look for PFB to get involved. The stakes to the Ag community are real and not being addressed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
HB723
An Act amending Title 34 (Game) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, further providing for the definition of "wild animals."
Action(s)
PN 0812
Referred to GAME AND FISHERIES,Feb. 13, 2013

Reported as committed from GAME AND FISHERIES, March 13, 2013

First consideration, March 13, 2013
Laid on the table, March 13, 2013
Removed from table, March 20, 2013
Second consideration, April 8, 2013
Re-committed to APPROPRIATIONS,April 8, 2013

(Remarks see House Journal Page ),April 8, 2013
Re-reported as committed from APPROPRIATIONS, April 9, 2013

<span style="font-weight: bold">Third consideration and final passage, April 9, 2013 (101-100)</span>

(Remarks see House Journal Page ),April 9, 2013
 

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Unfortunately, becuase of a very short sighted approach by our commissioners, sportsmen are left with deciding between supporting the bill which gives more power to AG or opposing the bill which helps peta's cause and hurts the hunting industry.

A no win that lays at the feet of the current commissioners.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
No - the bill does not give Ag more authority.

The bill creates a huge hole where no one controls or regulates wild / feral hogs.
 

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After we become over run with hogs, they will push them back on the PGC.
 

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Bluetick said:
No - the bill does not give Ag more authority.

The bill creates a huge hole where no one controls or regulates wild / feral hogs.
Either way, my point remains the same. I don't see supporting or opposing the bill as being beneficial to hunters or our sport. Again, that dilemma lying at the feet of PGC.
 

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John S said:
After we become over run with hogs, they will push them back on the PGC.
The PGC should be working with the game farms and preserves to ensure that does not happen instead of trying to drive them out of business.
 

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The court never took jurisdiction over swine from the Department of Agriculture. It said found that boar were not pigs and therefore wild animals subject to the PGC jurisdiction. The Ag code was already written wide enough to give Ag jurisdiction over all swine. (Something not raised in the PGC case for whatever reason)

Fenced operations will still be under Dept of Ag as they had been before the PGC case. As will domestic hogs.

The problem was that "feral" farm pigs never were under PFC jurisdiction, only wild boar and their hybrids and only because of the ridiculous court decision.

The PGC can no more keep me from grazing my hogs in my woods than it can keep me from grazing my sheep or goats or cattle. (the only pig permitted to roam is my daughter's pot belly pig and it goes back in it's stall in the barn every night.)

This will free the elimination of hogs from PGC restrictions and permit free use of weapons and tactics to take them, which has advantages and disadvantages. Night vision scopes, semi autos, hunting at night, no need for a hunting license, etc. Hunting with dogs, electronic devices and radio communication etc. Infra red heat sensors, whatever.

The move may actually permit easier elimination of the problem.
 
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