States fight attempt to weaken bird treaty

Eight state attorneys general filed a legal challenge recently to the Trump administration’s bid to dramatically weaken the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, a century-old law established to protect birds.

The lawsuit, led by New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood, and supported by Maryland, New Jersey, Illinois, Massachusetts, Oregon, California and New Mexico, is an effort to stop the Interior Department from fully implementing a directive to its law enforcement division to forgive mass bird kills, even when the animals are threatened or endangered.

In accordance with a new interpretation of the act issued in April, the department informed its wildlife police that the slaughter “of birds resulting from an activity is not prohibited ... when the underlying purpose of that activity is not to take birds.”

Washington Post