As companies like Domino’s Pizza and Amazon explore the use of drones for home delivery services, groups like the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) are using them to spy on hunters and anglers. That’s something that doesn’t sit well with Pennsylvania Senator Richard Kasunic. He’s proposed two bills that, if passed, will outlaw the use of drones to disrupt legal fishing and hunting pursuits, according to the Pennsylvania Independent.
While activists claim to use drones to police poaching activities and report offenses to authorities, they’ve also reportedly filmed lawful hunting acts and leveraged the footage into propaganda–a privacy problem according to Senator Richard Alloway, chairman of the state Senate Game and Fisheries Committee.
“Most Americans don’t want drones spying on us or watching our activities for any reason, particularly if they’re not criminal,” Alloway said.
PETA campaign specialist Ashley Byrne says the organization–which sells drones marketed asAir Angels in its catalog for $324.99–only uses the devices to monitor hunters on public land, and that those worried about interference are probably doing something illegal in the first place.
“Anyone who is suggesting that these laws be implemented has something to hide,” Byrne said.
Pennsylvania isn’t the only state concerned about drones and privacy issues. Illinois lawmakers recently passed a bill that makes it illegal to use drones to interfere with hunters. But according to Travis Lau, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Game Commission, there are already laws on the books prohibiting the harassment of hunters in any form.
“As a point of clarity, and drones being a big issue, maybe it’s better to clean up that language and address it specifically,” Lau said.