SANTA FE -- May 1 is Stop Trophy Poaching Day in New Mexico.
The day emphasizes the serious threat the illegal activity poses to the states long tradition of hunting, and highlighting the contribution of hunting to New Mexicos heritage and economy.
Trophy poaching occurs when illegal hunters kill large wild game and take only the heads, antlers and horns, which can fetch large amounts of money on the black market. The meat and hide on the poached animals usually are left to rot.
The offense is a misdemeanor in New Mexico and convictions often result in light penalties.
The Department of Game and Fish supported bills for stiffer penalties in the last two legislative sessions, but neither passed.
"The Wild Friends students across New Mexico worked hard to make this day happen, and feel strongly about the need to stop trophy poaching, said Susan George, director of the Wild Friends Program.
"We want those big beautiful animals to be around forever, said Matthew Farnsworth, a 5th-grade student from Ladera Elementary in Farmington.
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