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02/28/08
Help Stop the Killing of Protected Raptors
Filed under: General, Birding & Outdoors
Posted by: Ken @ 6:42 pm

I just received this Audubon Alert, which deserves your immediate attention. Please respond by clicking the link below, to express your personal concerns to your elected US Representative:

“Last spring, citizens across the country were
appalled to learn that thousands of protected raptors such as
Cooper’s Hawks, Peregrine Falcons, and Red-tailed Hawks had been
killed in Oregon, California and Texas.

“The raptors were killed by hobbyists who breed
pigeons to carry a genetic trait that causes them to stop flying
and tumble in the air before righting themselves and carrying
on. These “roller pigeons” are flown in competitions and scored
by judges who rate the birds on the quality of the “roll” and
other factors. Of course, the pigeon rolling through the air
looks like crippled and vulnerable prey to a hawk, falcon, or
other bird of prey. Many of these pigeon enthusiasts have been
routinely killing raptors in an attempt to protect their roller
pigeons.

“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that as
many as 2,000 to 3,000 raptors were being killed on the
West Coast each year using methods including poisoning, beating
birds to death with clubs, and suffocation in plastic
bags
. Even more troubling is the fact that the thirteen
men charged with these crimes received little more than a slap
on the wrist after pleading guilty. Currently, killing a
protected bird is a Class B Misdemeanor under the Migratory Bird
Treaty Act, which puts suffocating a Peregrine Falcon in the
same category as unauthorized use of the image of Smokey Bear.”

Take ActionPlease ask your U.S. Representative to co-sponsor HR 4093, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act Penalty and Enforcement Act of 2007 to ensure raptors and other migratory birds are given adequate protection.

“Representative Peter DeFazio of Oregon has introduced
legislation that would amend the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of
1918 so that the intentional killing of protected bird species
would be considered a felony, rather than the current Class B
Misdemeanor. HR 4093 would send a strong message to prosecutors
and courts that Congress takes these crimes seriously. It would
pave the way for significant fines (up to $50,000) and jail
sentences (up to 1 year) for the most serious bird-related
crimes.

“We need your help to ensure passage of the
Migratory Bird Treaty Act Penalty and Enforcement Act of
2007
. Representative DeFazio is currently circulating a
“Dear Colleague” letter seeking additional co-sponsors for this
legislation. Your Representative is a member of the Natural
Resources Committee, so it is especially important that you
contact him or her about becoming a co-sponsor.”

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