After establishing a statewide hunting season for porcupines last year, the Pennsylvania Game Commission is facing an unintended consequence: A potential black market pipeline for porcupine meat, according to a report from the Intelligencer Journal-Lancaster New Era.
The Commission created the hunting season with the intent of allowing landowners to control the population of the rodents, which can chew through wood siding on houses and other structures. But Tuesday, the Board of Game Commissioners made a drastic about-face and voted to downsize the 2012-13 hunting season due to intelligence reports and pending investigations of people seeking to export Pennsylvania porcupines to Southeast Asia, particularly Vietnam, officials told the paper.
Overhunting has drastically reduced the porcupine population in Vietnam, making the critters very valuable in the country, where they are primarily sold for human consumption.
But it is illegal to sell any edible part of an animal shot in Pennsylvania.
The state is in the midst of its first porcupine hunting season, which began Sept. 1 and will run through Mar. 31. The commissioners proposed that hunters be restricted to killing 10 porcupines per season, rather than the virtually unlimited amount currently allowed, and that a three-porcupine-per-day quota be imposed, as opposed to the six-per-day limit in effect now, according to the paper. The commissioners will take a final vote at their next meeting in April.
Though animal rights advocates argue that the hunting season will lead to a permanently diminished population of the nonviolent creatures, I have only one argument against porcupine hunting, and its name is Teddy Bear:
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