The Trump administration has done quite a few things that changed ways and surprised the public. However, this time around, they are actually threatening a policy that has been conserved for a hundred years.
It was made pretty clear these past few weeks how they actually feel about the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, in fact, they have already issued a guidance wherein the said policy may no longer be used. The reason for it is said to be because of how companies are actually suffering because they are being held accountable if they harm and kill these birds.
The Migratory Bird Treaty Act protects America's birds from illegal pursuing, taking, capturing or killing. We can't let Congress gut this important bird conservation law. Take action to #ProtectTheBirds: https://t.co/oX2Rvcq1Gz pic.twitter.com/70FB6YLSWi
— Audubon Society (@audubonsociety) December 26, 2017
Last Wednesday, the interior department said that when the birds get killed because of a particular activity, it doesn’t really fall into the violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, since the said activity does not necessarily meant to take or harm the birds in any way. There are a couple of instances wherein even if it wasn’t your intention to harm or kill the birds, it might still fall under the violation. Like for instance, certain huge tree must be cut and it turns out there is actually a nest hiding on its branches and all the baby birds died because it all fell off from the tree that is being cut down.
This does not mean that the people who are responsible from cutting the tree have already violated the policy, since they didn’t cut the tree to bring harm onto the birds on purpose just so it could benefit them. Another example would be putting up a power line that would end up shocking some birds could mean a violation to the MBTA as well. Why was there a certain policy about this anyway? Well, continue reading to find out more about it.
Bald eagles under MBTA
The Migratory Bird Act
The Migratory Bird Treaty Act is actually known to be a federal law in the United States that was implemented back in 1918 to protect the migratory birds that are going in and out of Great Britain and the United States. It is actually the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service who are carrying out and releasing permits to people who does taxidermy, falconry, and even for bird use for scientific and educational purposes.
The main reason why this was actually enacted was that a lot of species of birds are becoming extinct at that time because of the bird trade and the use of bird feathers. It has been a hundred years since this law has been implemented but the overly-aggressive takes on birds nowadays are not exactly too extreme especially with the Pro-animal activists all over the world trying to protect them.
People in the 1800s used to kill passenger pigeons along with other kinds of birds and use them to turn into hats, scarves, boots, and more. Because of that passenger pigeons slowly became extinct and the government became aware of this matter and decided to pass this law.
Since this law has been passed, shootings, trapping, poisoning, stealing the eggs, and even damaging the nests, have been prohibited. This then helps preserve some birds such as the Wood Duck, Snowy Egret, and Sandhill Crane. However, because of this law, companies just like oil and gas companies have continued to fine because of their oil spills that then kills the bird population, hence the Trump administration is taking this kind of power to the specific hundred-year-old law.
What Will Happen Now?
Animal rights activists take aim at the Trump administration as they take down this law to give way to business. According to some officials from the Fish and Wildlife, they are more than just disappointed by the decision. They said that this law has been passed for more than a hundred years and it is known to be one of the oldest conservation laws the country have proudly passed and now they are taking it as if it is actually doing any hard.
Based on a research conducted by scientists m the State of North American Birds in 2016, more than a thousand birds that are roaming around the United States, Canada, and Mexico are actually on the verge of extinction and they will surely be at great risk now that the MBTA will be taken down a notch by the Trump administration.