A Look at Pennsylvania’s Big Game Regulations

Three of the largest airlines in the U.S. – American, Delta and United – banned the transport of big game trophies on their flights. This comes as international outrage continues over the illegal death of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe.

ABC 27 News checked the big game rules in Pennsylvania.

According to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, as a general rule you can bring any animal back to Pennsylvania as long as you killed it legally and properly tagged the animal according to the law in the state or country where you hunted it.

The only exception has to do with deer. You cannot bring the head or backbone of a deer to Pennsylvania from an area that has chronic wasting disease.

When asked if the Game Commission will revisit those regulations, spokesman Travis Lau said it is not up to them.

“We’re governed by the state game and wildlife code, Title 34, the protections for wildlife,” Lau said. “The regulations regarding the importation of wildlife are written into that code.”

Changing the law would be up to state legislators.

“Here we deal with, by and large, wildlife management within Pennsylvania, hunting regulations within Pennsylvania, the protection of wildlife here,” Lau said. “If there’s a legal practice here, generally we don’t have a problem with that.”

The penalty for breaking the law can mean a hefty fine, especially when it comes to what the Game Commission calls “other wildlife.”

“That would be a summary of the fifth degree which is punishable only by $100 to $200 fine for importation,” Lau said. “However, there’s a heightened penalty that’s in the thousands of dollars range for threatened and endangered species.”

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