Victory! Federal Judge Rules Administration’s Bird-Killing Policy is Illegal.
This post was updated on .
Victory! Federal Judge Rules Administration’s Bird-Killing Policy is Illegal. Judge Caproni’s response to this opinion is clear: “There is nothing in the text of the MBTA that suggests that in order to fall within its prohibition, activity must be directed specifically at birds. Nor does the statute prohibit only intentionally killing migratory birds. And it certainly does not say that only “some” kills are prohibited.” Great news for birds! In 2018, Audubon, several other conservation groups, and eight states filed lawsuits challenging the U.S. Department of the Interior’s elimination of longstanding bird protections under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA). Yesterday, a federal court threw out the administration's rollback of the MBTA, ruling the policy is contrary to the foundational 100-year-old bird protection law.
This reality is underscored by the judge’s own words from the opening of the ruling: “It is not only a sin to kill a mockingbird, it is also a crime. That has been the letter of the law for the past century. But if the Department of the Interior has its way, many mockingbirds and other migratory birds that delight people and support ecosystems throughout the country will be killed without legal consequence.”
We may have won National Audubon Society v. Department of the Interior, but the long fight isn’t over yet—Congress must pass the permanent legislative fix to protect the MBTA from being weakened through administrative and regulatory changes. Take action today by asking your U.S. Representative to defend the MBTA from further rollback attempts by passing the Migratory Bird Protection Act.