Kivela’s final bill signed into law

Gov. Snyder was joined by, from left, staff member Craig Brunet, Rep. Kivela's wife, Sandy, his children, Shelby and Andrew, DNR Director Keith Creagh and staff member Nick Palmer. (Photo courtesy of the governor's office)

LANSING — Heightened penalties are now in place for illegally importing deer, elk and moose carcasses to Michigan from another state or province under legislation signed Thursday by Gov. Rick Snyder.

This is the final bill sponsored by the late state Rep. John Kivela, who passed away earlier this year. Gov. Snyder was joined by Kivela’s family for a special bill signing ceremony.

“John Kivela was a great friend and tremendous partner in our work to reinvent Michigan, and it’s an honor to be joined today by his family to sign his final bill into law,” Snyder said. “This legislation is symbolic of John’s memory and legacy of service to the Upper Peninsula and our entire state.

“Protecting Michigan’s communities, natural resources and wildlife is critically important, and this bill heightens penalties for importing animal carcasses from other states to help prevent harmful diseases from infecting Michigan’s deer, elk and moose populations.”

House Bill 4424, sponsored by Kivela, provides specific penalties for illegally importing a full carcass or specified parts of a carcass of deer, elk or moose from another state or province. Increased penalties include up to 90 days in prison or fines ranging from $500 minimum or $2,000 maximum, or both. It is now Public Act 124 of 2017.

For more information on this and other legislation, visit