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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: October 30, 2023 12:54 PM
From: Representative Abby Major
To: All House members
Subject: Intentional or Negligent Release of Exotic Animals
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation to strengthen penalties for the intentional or negligent release of exotic animals, such as alligators, crocodiles, poisonous snakes and mammals which may be dangerous to the public safety or to our own native wild animals and birds.

In the 60th District, we have had a unique issue with the release of alligators into the Kiskiminetas River.  The Kiski river is a popular recreation spot for fishing and kayaking.  This summer, kayakers were surprised to find alligators swimming around their kayaks.  One, dubbed “Chomper” by the community, was captured by a kayaker.  A second gator, Neo, is still at large in the river.  On another occasion, a gentleman was trapped in his home due to a different gator on his porch.  These animals could potentially be dangerous to citizens and cause havoc with the local ecosystem.

This legislation would amend Titles 30 (Fish) and 34 (Game) to increase the penalties for negligent or intentional release of exotic animals into the wild. The legislation would make intentional or negligent release of an exotic animal a misdemeanor of the first degree. This raises the penalty up from the current Misdemeanor of the third degree under Title 30 and up from a Summary of the fifth degree under Title 34, should the release be found to be negligent or intentional. For endangered or threatened species under Title 34, the current penalty for any release is an ungraded misdemeanor.

This will further provide for public safety from dangerous exotic wildlife, most notably those related to recent issues of alligators and mink being released into the wild.

Thank you for your consideration of this proposal.

Introduced as HB1894