Pa. legislation targets use of drones in hunting

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     Legislation under consideration in Harrisburg would ban the use of drones by both hunters and animal rights activists. (NewsWorks file photo)

    Legislation under consideration in Harrisburg would ban the use of drones by both hunters and animal rights activists. (NewsWorks file photo)

    New legislation under consideration in Harrisburg would ban the use of drones for hunting, or for harassing hunters. 

    The two bills being considered include one that would ban the use of drone aircraft by hunters for spotting game and one that would prevent animal rights activists from using drones to harass hunters and scare game. State Representative Marc Gergley (D- Allegheny) said in an interview hunters using aircraft would give themselves an unfair advantage.

    “I’m a big believer in ‘fair chase’ as a hunter and if you were to launch a drone with a camera and scout out find out where the animals are and approch them because you know where they are, you’re using technology to your great advantage in your harvest of game,” Gergely said.

     Ashley Burns of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said animal rights activists use drones to catch hunters not following the rules.

    “Deer [are] being spooked by hunters, running onto highways and crashing through plate glass windows, often because hunters are using illegal and dangerous tactics,” Burns said. “They [drones] are also used to catch poaching hunters breaking laws drinking alchohol while they are hunting.”

     Burns said their drones would not run afoul of a second bill to ban the use of drones to distract hunters or scare animals away from hunters.

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