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Trump Admin. Clips Wings of Migratory Bird Treaty Act

by Countable | Updated on 4.16.18

What’s the story?

  • The Trump administration has announced drastic rollback to the century-old Migratory Bird Treaty Act, saying the MBTA does not prohibit the “incidental take” (killing) of birds.


How did the Act come into place?

  • Prompted by the decimation of bird populations, the 1918 law made it illegal to “hunt,” “pursue,” “capture,” or “kill” any migratory bird without a waiver.


What’s the rollback?

  • The Interior Department has issued a legal opinion specifying “the take [killing] of birds resulting from an activity is not prohibited by the [MBTA] when the underlying purpose of that activity is not to take birds.”
  • “In other words,” the Washington Post explained, “accidentally killing birds — for instance, during oil spills — no longer breaks the law.”
  • The guidance also explained that it would not be breaking the law if a person destroys a structure, such as a barn, knowing that it’s full of baby owls. “All that is relevant is that the landowner undertook an action that did not have the killing of barn owls as its purpose," the opinion said.


What do you think?

Do you agree with the Interior Dept. that the current MBTA allowed for “unlimited potential for criminal prosecution”? Or does this new reading of the law allow companies to escape legal responsibility for the killing of birds? Does Congress need to revisit the MBTA? Hit Take Action and tell your reps, then share your thoughts below.


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(Photo Credit: ShaftInAction / iStock)

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(170)
  • Jennifer
    04/17/2018
    ···

    What the hell does 45* have against the environment, birds, hibernating animals, endangered species, Hell, animals in general?? I’m so fucking fed up with this administration’s raping of the environment I could spit. Get this lying cheating asshole out of office already so we can get back to actually taking care of stuff instead of destroying it. Fucking over it. DO SOMETHING NOW!!!

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  • Jeff
    04/17/2018
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    The most environmentally destructive administration in the history of our country continues its wholesale assault on nature.

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  • August
    04/17/2018
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    This is a giveaway to Trump/Zinke friends. This law has been on the books through two world wars, oil booms, and recessions, and yet the oil industry survived. Protecting our natural resources and beauty should be a top priority of Congress.

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  • burrkitty
    04/17/2018
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    In regards to removing the protections of law for migratory birds, I find this deregulation distasteful and obscene. This allows for the wholesale slaughter of sensitive species as long as it wasn’t “on purpose”. Our ecosystems plants and animals are not a inconvenience to “accidentally” kill off. Stop protecting corporations at the expense of people and nature. Do not support this deregulation allowing the unrestricted “accidental” slaughter of our birds.

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  • Sharon
    04/17/2018
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    Please protect the Migratory Birds!

    Like (51)
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  • Truly
    04/17/2018
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    Protect the act as it stands. Stop allowing companies free reign over real people. This action is disgraceful and unnecessary except to allow companies wholesale destruction of the environment.

    Like (49)
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  • Birgitta
    04/17/2018
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    The idea of conservation dates back to when Theodore Roosevelt was president. By rolling back this act, you are preventing the conservation of many beautiful migratory birds, as well as harming the ecosystem.

    Like (36)
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  • William
    04/17/2018
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    The recent legal opinion by by the Interior Department on the MTBA seems to be solely intended to protect businesses from any consequences from their actions which result in the killing of migratory waterfowl. I am opposed to this move and ask that you take all necessary action to have the legal opinion reversed.

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  • Johnelle
    04/17/2018
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    It never ends with this administration. They are determined to destroy everything for their own benefit.

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  • verymary
    04/17/2018
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    This President and his Administration have no shame, and obviously they stay awake all night dreaming of new and heinous ways to destroy the planet, its other-than-wealthy-white-American people, and its defenseless animals. There is no reason for what they do, yet they do it -- while Congress does nothing. How sad to have abject villains running our country.

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  • Phyllis
    04/17/2018
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    WHY would you do this? WHY? Please vote AGAINST this bill.

    Like (21)
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  • Waarom
    04/17/2018
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    This president has no respect for our wildlife, our land, or our people ...he either needs to respectfully step down or be relived of his duties through law and tried for treason. Everything his administration is doing, puts America on step further behind corporate interests and private enterprises ...when can we finally make America first Mr. president? Likely, that will be when he and his coup of an administration has left office.

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  • D
    04/17/2018
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    This administration has no concept of protecting anything but their own corrupt asses.

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  • Chickie
    04/17/2018
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    Ryan Zinke, current head of the Department of Interior, graduated from University of Oregon. attending on a football scholarship. In his biography, Zinke has written the way he chose geology as his major was by closing his eyes over the school catalog on pointing to geology. Since graduating 34 yrs. ago, Zinke has NEVER worked a day as a geologist. Although now that he’s the head of the DoI, he will say “as a geologist”....” Those who are practicing professional geologists will say Zinke IS NOT a geologist. Regarding changing the MBTA: Please, do not allow this to happen. All our birds deserve our protection so they can continue to fly in our skies, use our lands and waterways freely as they were meant to do! To allow the change will encourage big money corporations and manufacturing companies to practice without consciousness and avoid legal responsibility. Protect our environment, not big money!

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  • Jeanne
    04/17/2018
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    Of all the despicable actions by 45, this is the absolute worst. Birds are critical to the biodiversity of this planet. They perform innumerable tasks that are crucial to the economy like pest control. Their contributions to quality of life are unquantifiable. This alone tells you the type of person 45 is. We already know he hates the environment and animals unless they’re dead heads hanging on the wall. Now we know how truly morally bankrupt and ethically incompetent he is. The law needs to be significantly strengthened so it cannot be changed by every administration.

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  • April
    04/17/2018
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    Can you find a way to get this guy out of office? Anything? Take him down. His continued assault on the well being our environment and animals of all kind needs to stop.

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  • Kristine
    04/17/2018
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    Please Protect the Migratory Bird Act.

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  • Beth
    04/17/2018
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    Why, why, why? May Trump, Zinke and their ilk rot in environmental hell. Do not vote for passage of this Bill.

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  • Joanie
    04/17/2018
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    Please stop this administration from dismantling the protection of migratory birds. Someone needs to clip Trumps wings instead.

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  • MinnesotaMom
    04/17/2018
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    Trump's announcement that he intends to allow the flouting of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act must be met with some kind of resistance now, and be completely prevented with legislation after the midterms when we will have given you the votes in congress to do so. We must do the work on our end; please do the work on yours.

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