Work Together to End Wildlife Poaching

  • by: Erin M
  • recipient: Governors of Delaware, Massachusetts and Hawaii

Before the The Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact (IWVC), state fish and wildlife departments had no way of knowing whether or not someone legally hunting or fishing in their state, was a persona non grata in another. Poachers and other wildlife lawbreakers who had their licenses suspended or revoked for breaking the law in one state could simply cross the border, get a license, and continue breaking wildlife laws.

Now, IWVC member states have the ability to share information about hunter, trapper or fisherman misconduct, making it easy for them to identify violators who have commited wildlife crimes outside of their borders. As one official put it "Any person who has their license privileges suspended in one member state may now also have them suspended in all other member states. In addition, the compact prevents convicted poachers who are under revocation in one state from hunting, fishing or trapping in other states."

The compact covers violations concerning the pursuit, possession or taking of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, mollusks, shellfish and crustaceans.

Being that these natural resources not only support thousands of jobs but also enrich our environment, it's surprising that there are still some states that have decided not to join and work together to stomp out wildlife crime. New Jersey for example, became only the 47th member state. Leaving Delaware, Massachusetts and Hawaii as outliers in what should be a nationwide - all 50 state - fight to to end poaching and protect our wildlife.

It's high time that DE, MA and HI stop bucking the trend and join the IWVC to make sure lawbreakers have nowhere to hide and that poachers cannot just evade justice by crossing the border. Sign the petition and tell the three non-member states it's time to join. Wildlife protection is something we should all care about and so should our state governments.

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