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Pennsylvania Senator Richard Kasunic has proposed two bills to Congress that would outlaw the use of drones to spy on hunters and anglers, writes The Independent.
Animal activist groups like People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) claim to use drones to monitor the actions of hunters and identify poaching activities, but they’ve also allegedly filmed lawful hunting acts and used that footage for video propaganda.
That opens up major privacy issues, notes Senator Richard Alloway, chairman of the state Senate Game and Fisheries Committee, as reported by Field and Stream.
PETA’s drone, the “Air Angel,” was introduced in October 2013, and is now sold in its catalog for $325. PETA claims that the drones are used to observe hunters on public land, and those who are concerned with the use of the drones are most likely the ones with something to hide.
However, there is already a “police system” in place, Dennis Boomer Hayden, President of The Massachusetts Bowhunters Association, told Mashable at the time. Game wardens’ role is to protect wildlife and ensure that hunters are acting in accordance to the laws. In most states, game wardens do not need a search warrant of any kind and can conduct searches when they feel necessary.
With an enforcement system already implemented, PETA’s efforts are redundant, said Hayden.
While PETA believes their efforts are strictly for use of enforcement and ensuring the well-being of wildlife, many sportsmen view PETA’s attempts to monitor hunters as a misguided excuse to harass hunters who are legally hunting.
In Illinois, Massachusetts, Alabama and other states, it is illegal to harass hunters or interfere with hunting activities.