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Men Sentenced for Illegal Bear Shooting

Men Sentenced for Illegal Bear Shooting

Three men were sentenced for the illegal shooting of a brown bear in Alaska. The penalties ranged from three years probation and a $5,000 dollar fine to probation and a $10,000 fine. Two Alaska men admitted to guiding hunters to a brown bear without proper permits and licenses. They also phoned the hunters after the hunt and tried to get them to destroy evidence. The man who shot the bear didn’t have a bear hunting tag, so another man gave him his tag, which is a violation also.

Two of the men were convicted of violating the Lacey Act, which can be a felony. The Lacey Act prohibits trafficking in illegal wildlife, fish and plants. For example it is illegal to import certain plants without an import declaration. It also prohibits falsification of documentation for transporting animals or plants. It is over one hundred years old and has been amended several times since passing. The original intent of the law was to stop animal poaching in one state and then selling them in another.

The law allows some illegal activity to be punished as a felony and others as a misdemeanor. The felony aspect of the law carries a punishment of up to five years in prison and up to a $20,000 fine. The misdemeanor’s punishment range is less, as one would expect. One of the amendments to the Lacey Act specifically was made to address situations involving packaged hunting tours resulting in the death of a wild animal for transport to another state. Out of state visitors shooting animals for payment was not covered prior to the amendment. The Lacey Act has become an important factor in protecting animals in the United States,and abroad.  Various companies in Alaska guide hunters on paid trips to find and shoot brown bears as trophy animals. Some of these tours sell for $7,500 or more. It is a barbaric and unnecessary practice.

Image Credit: Marshmallow

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10:44AM PDT on May 22, 2012

just a start in doing justice, indeed

7:46AM PDT on May 21, 2012

thank you

6:17AM PDT on May 21, 2012

It is a shame they didn't get jail time. Stiffer punishments would be more of a deterrent to poaching and killing.

6:12AM PDT on May 21, 2012

It is a shame they didn't get jail time. If the punishments were stiffer, maybe poaching would be less attractive.

10:30AM PST on Feb 25, 2012

They deserve to serve a jail sentence,horrible HUMANS with no heart!!!!!! Thank you.Liz Xx

10:42PM PST on Dec 12, 2011

There is no justification for hunting them.

9:01AM PST on Dec 12, 2011

Hiding behind a gun at a safe distance is cowardly - it can not and should not be classed as hunting, Animals hunt - humans hide behind traps guns, crossbow and think they are the big tough hunter, Shame

8:32AM PST on Dec 12, 2011

it's a start. He should have got a jail sentence. There are people whose objective is definitely to make money with grizzly bears they hunt. They should definitely be deterred from doing so.

8:09AM PST on Dec 12, 2011

A good start but he SHOUL BE JAILED!

4:20PM PST on Dec 11, 2011

nice start

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