HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – The Pennsylvania Game Commission is considering a new policy that would eliminate protections for porcupines.

While it would essentially create an open season on the critters, the policy change — proposed by game commission member Dave Putnam –- is not really intended to create a porcupine “hunt.”  Rather, Putnam says, he proposes to merely eliminate protections on the animal.

“It’s going to go in the same category as skunks, opossums, and weasels,” he says.  “And we don’t have people organizing hunts for skunks, opossums, and weasels.  But they can be taken on your property if attempting to do damage on or in the vicinity of your property.”

While Putnum says any animal can be taken while doing damage to property, he says porcupines are secretive and folks often won’t catch them in the act of chewing on the patio furniture.  So he says he wants to eliminate confusion about when they can be killed.

Putnam says he understands concerns of critics, but says he does not believe there will be significant additional harvest of porcupines.

Reported by KYW Newsradio Harrisburg Bureau chief Tony Romeo.

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