11/18/2014 03:30 EST | Updated 01/18/2015 05:59 EST

Hunting legislation aims to protect wildlife, increases severity of penalties

REGINA - Saskatchewan's Environment minister says new legislation will increase the severity of hunting penalties in an effort to better protect wildlife.

Scott Moe says the Wildlife Amendment Act sends a message to poachers that there are serious consequences associated with breaking wildlife laws in the province.

The legislation extends the time wildlife officers have to report wildlife violations from two years to three years.

It also means hunters must pay previous fines before they are eligible for new licences, and hunters who are suspended in other jurisdictions will be prohibited from buying Saskatchewan licences.

The act also lays out a lifetime ban for hunting if someone has been convicted of serious wildlife offences on three separate occasions.