SOURCE: NY Intelligencer
DATE: December 29, 2018
SNIP: The Trump administration’s policies are leading to wholesale destruction of certain birds and other wildlife. This fact has escaped most public notice amid the broader damage the Cabinet is causing to the environment. Among other measures, the regulatory agencies have been working to lift protections on endangered animals, open up vast animal habitats for drilling, encourage more trophy-hunting, and repress treatment standards for farm animals.
Read the article for a long list of the egregious ways the administration is killing wildlife. Just one of many examples:
To Greenberger and other bird-rights advocates, the most galling development is the dropping of penalties for recklessly endangering birds out in the wild. Greenberger said the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, on the books since 1918, is responsible for all kinds of protective measures at sites around the country. It’s a reason companies often put blinking lights on their towers, or place nets over oil pits: so that birds won’t fly into them and die, triggering corporate fines. But in the spring, Interior announced companies won’t be held responsible anymore, so long as killing birds isn’t the culprit’s primary goal.
To clarify, the department sent around a memo with some rather grotesque examples. Say, for instance, someone wants to burn down a barn that happens to be full of owls. So long as the deaths of the owls are merely collateral damage and not the purpose of setting the farm on fire, they won’t be subject to fines. “All that is relevant,” the memo reads, “is that the landowner undertook an action that did not have the killing of barn owls as its purpose” — a startling conclusion from the standpoint of legal theory alone.