Poaching penalties could become more severe

SANTA FE (KRQE) – Penalties for poaching big game in New Mexico would increase under a bill moving through the legislature.

A house committee voted unanimously Thursday to crack down on hunters who illegally kill bighorn sheep, ibex, oryx, barbary sheep, elk, deer and pronghorn antelope.

Poaching the animals would become a fourth-degree felony under the bill by Republican Rep. Alonzo Baldonado of Valencia County.

A fourth-degree felony carries a prison sentence of up to 18 months and a fine of up to $5,000.

Right now the crime is a misdemeanor.

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