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The illegal shooting, trapping, or taking of game or fish from private or public property.

The poaching of game and fish was made a crime in England in the seventeenth century, as aristocratic landowners sought to preserve their shooting and property rights. Poor peasants did most of the poaching to supplement their diets with meat and fish.

In the United States, poaching was not considered a serious problem meriting legal measures before the twentieth century, because vast expanses of undeveloped land contained abundant sources of fish and game. The increased cultivation of land and the growth of towns and cities reduced wildlife habitats in the twentieth century. In the early 1900s, the U.S. conservation movement arose with an emphasis on preserving wildlife and managing the fish and game populations. Wildlife preserves and state and national parks were created as havens for wild animals, many of which were threatened with extinction.

Because of these changing circumstances, restrictions were placed on hunting and fishing. State game and fish laws now require persons to purchase licenses to hunt and fish. The terms of these licenses limit the kind and number of animals or fish that may be taken and restrict hunting and fishing to designated times of the year, popularly referred to as hunting and fishing seasons.

Therefore, persons who fail to purchase a license, as well as those who violate the terms of their licenses, commit acts of poaching. Most poaching in the United States is done for sport or commercial profit. Rare and endangered species, which are protected by state and federal law, are often the targets of poachers.

Poaching laws are enforced by game wardens, who patrol state and national parks and respond to violations on private property. Poachers are subject to criminal laws, ranging from misdemeanors to felonies. Penalties may include steep fines, jail sentences, the Forfeiture of any poached game or fish, the loss of hunting and fishing license privileges for several years, and the forfeiture of hunting or fishing equipment, boats, and vehicles used in the poaching.


Endangered Species Act; Environmental Law; Fish and Fishing.


the crime of taking game or other specified beasts and trespassing so to do. It is criminalized by, among other enactments, the Night Poaching Act 1828, the Game Laws (Amendment) Act 1960 and the Deer Act 1980.
References in periodicals archive ?
There might not be any hard evidence to make this link at present, but the very high fines imposed on poachers could have led some to seek revenge.
We saw a group of around 10 poachers who had hunted six gees,' he said, adding the CDA/MCI team did not turn up.
Officers cannot be everywhere at once, and we must rely on the public for their tips so that poachers can be brought to justice.
Talking to journalists here, Deputy Director Wildlife, Mohammad Anwar Mian said that following the directives received from Punjab government, Wildlife Department Bahawalpur conducted raids against poachers in Cholistan and imposed fines against them.
They leave bullet cartridges in crooks of trees pointing in the direction they are heading so other poachers can follow, or machete crosses marked on trees to show where they have hidden their ivory.
Intelligence shows these poachers are linked to extremist group Boko Haram in Nigeria and have killed 25,000 forest elephants in the past 10 years in one Gabon region alone.
This had continuously happened on the 4th consecutive day and the Indian poachers are straying in Sri Lankan waters with almost as if though they enjoy some kind of impunity, and unmindful of the legal implications and the harm they are doing to the livelihood of Sri Lankan fishermen.
In what seems to be a first in Europe, in early March poachers broke into a zoo near Paris and killed a young white rhinoceros known as Vince.
Poachers have killed a rare elephant with enormous tusks in Kenya, further endangering what was already a small group of elephants with experience crucial to their herds.
Each year, columns of up to 200 well-armed Sudanese poachers cross the border along the old slave-trading routes, in pursuit of game animals long since hunted out in Sudan", NG reported.
May 06, 2016 (YAMBIO) -- A county court in Yambio has sentenced five poachers to six months in prison for killing animals in Burekpatuo game reserve located in Nzara county.
ABRITISH helicopter pilot has been shot dead by elephant poachers in Tanzania, a conservation charity has said.