Trump Admin. Sews Up Policy Shift On Migratory Bird Killing

Law360 (January 5, 2021, 5:08 PM EST) -- The Trump administration on Tuesday finalized a policy eliminating criminal penalties for incidental migratory bird deaths under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, a move it says will provide more certainty for industry but critics argue will undermine the century-old law.

The policy cements a legal opinion issued by the U.S. Department of the Interior in 2017 that departed from decades of precedent, with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service saying that the MBTA bars only the intentional killing of birds. If an activity is not meant to kill or "take" birds, it isn't prohibited under the 1918 law, according to the policy....

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