English and American Wildlife Law: Lessons from the Past

English wildlife law has been well documented for over 1,500 years. Since the Middle Ages the English have tried implementing, at one time or another, almost every law that could be imagined for the taking and harvesting of wildlife. The penalty for violations of these laws have ranged from a fine, prison, mutilation, transportation, to even death. Despite all these laws and draconian punishments, poaching still persisted. Before we propose or try to change any of our current laws, we should review the past and see if this new law or change has failed or worked earlier. Let us ask the question each time we propose a change, "Are we trying to reinvent the wheel?"

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