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Can commercial buildings be inspected for wildlife violations?

According to the Office of the Revisor of Statutes, enforcement officers are able to inspect commercial buildings if they believe wildlife violations have occurred. If you are like many business owners in Minnesota, fish and wild game are an important part of business. However, there are a wide variety of regulations that some business owners are unaware of, while others are falsely accused of a violation that never took place. Whether your business operates in a rural town or the busy city of Minneapolis, it is important to understand your rights and legal options if you are ever accused of a wildlife violation.

Enforcement officers can inspect different types of businesses if they have probable cause to suspect that the business is illegally in possession of a wild animal. Under these circumstances, officers can inspect restaurants, hotels and butcher shops, among other types of businesses. In addition to entering buildings, officers can inspect vehicles, containers and even records that they believe are related to the alleged violations. Furthermore, enforcement officers can pull over vehicles and inspect them.

When officers attempt to inspect commercial buildings, it is unlawful to purposely impede or resist their inspection. Fish and wildlife violations sometimes carry harsh penalties, such as costly fines, time behind bars and the revocation of fish and game licenses. As a result, it is crucial for you to familiarize yourself with the laws, whether you are a business owner or someone who enjoys hunting and fishing for recreational purposes. 

Please remember, this material was written to provide information on wildlife violations and the inspection of commercial buildings and is not to be taken as legal advice.

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