ACLU Considers Lawsuit Against the Pennsylvania Game Commission
In an article posted to the Outdoor Talk Network dated
9/6/03, Jim Slinsky reports that the ACLU is considering a lawsuit
against the Pennsylvania Game Commission for using what it believes to
be unreasonably obtained search warrants to confiscate exotic animals
from people whom the PGC believes should not have them.
The PGC finds justification for their actions in a
1988 law that states: "Exotic Wildlife permit: The phrase includes, but
is not limited to, all bears, coyotes, lions, tigers, leopards, jaguars,
cheetahs, cougars, wolves and any crossbreed of these animals, which
have similar characteristics in appearance or features. The definition
is applicable whether or not the birds or animals were bred or reared in
captivity or imported from another state or nation."
Despite not being explicitly mentioned, the PGC has
decided that the law also includes monkeys, serval, lemurs, and
hedgehogs, and possibly other animals.
In contrast to the contentious 1988 law is one enacted
in 1996 that defines a domestic animal this way: a “domestic animal is
an animal maintained in captivity.”
Several people who have had their animals confiscated
by the PGC via search warrants have formed a coalition to fight the Game
The ACLU is interested in this situation and as asking
that anyone who feels that the PGC may have violated their rights to
contact Paula Knudsen at 717-236-6827. Her email is