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Pennsylvania State Senate
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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: December 5, 2016 03:22 PM
From: Senator Mario M. Scavello
To: All Senate members
Subject: Allowing Falconry on Sundays
 
In the future, I intend to re-introduce legislation (former SB 1065 of 2015-16) amending Title 34 (Game), further providing for falconry to be added to the list of exemptions for Sunday hunting.

Currently, Title 34 §2303 prohibits hunting on Sunday with the exception of the hunting of foxes and coyotes. This legislation will add an additional exception for falconry.

As you may know, falconry is the sport of hunting small game species with birds of prey. Of all the field sports that fall under the jurisdiction of the Pennsylvania Game Commission, falconry is the only one that uses a trained wild animal. The hawks and falcons that are utilized are a valuable part of the Commonwealth's wildlife and the current laws and regulations governing falconry have been enacted to ensure that the competent falconer recognizes this and takes care to follow sound conservation principles in pursuit of the sport. In fact, the very existence of falconry depends upon the continued welfare of the birds of prey. It is also important to note that endangered birds of prey have benefited from the long-standing tradition of falconry in that these birds of prey have historically been used as the source for re-introduction of the species.

With that being said, this legislation is being offered because these birds of prey are wild and need to fly and eat daily. A falconer who wishes to take his or her bird of prey out in the wild, even for daily flight and not to hunt, would still be in violation of the Sunday hunting prohibition. There are less than 200 falconers in Pennsylvania and falconers do not use a gun or a bow, therefore an exception under Title 34 §2303 would be less intrusive than fox and coyote hunting which is already allowed on Sundays.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation. In addition, through the legislative hearing process, I look forward to further educating the public about the ancient sport of falconry and this legislation.

If you have any questions regarding this legislation, please contact Christine Zubeck in my office at 717-787-6123 or czubeck@pasen.gov. Thank you for your consideration.


Introduced as SB123