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Alabama Man Fined For Killing Birds With Illegal Use of Pesticides
Date Posted: July 17, 2001Ronald Elmore of St. Stephens, Alabama has been sentenced to a fine and restitution of $7,692 for use of a registered pesticide contrary to its classification, use of a registered pesticide inconsistent with its labeling, and taking of federally-protected migratory birds. U.S. Magistrate Judge Bert Milling of the U.S. District Court in Mobile, Alabama sentenced Elmore on June 7, after he pled guilty to all three counts. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act strictly prohibits the taking of migratory birds or their parts.
“This is a significant case because the improper use of pesticides has been an ongoing problem,” said Sam D. Hamilton, Southeast Regional Director. “Elmore’s sentencing sends a message that illegal use of pesticides poisons the environment and will not be tolerated. In this instance, migratory hawks were poisoned and died.”
According to Darwin Huggins, the Service’s Special agent in Mobile, Alabama, Elmore was injecting deer and hog carcasses with a syringe filled with Furadan in an attempt to rid his property of coyotes. Eight raptor carcasses were collected from the site and autopsied. Five of the hawks had died from carbofuran poisoning.
“We would like to thank Alabama Wildlife and Fresh Water Fisheries for their help on this case. It was a great cooperative effort,” said Huggins.
State and federal agents found a container of Furadan at the site. On one side of the container was a handwritten label, “Fear-a-dan poision”. A label on opposite side of the container said “Poisen.” A Furadan-laced syringe was also found. A total of $5, 672 of Elmore’s $7,692 fine will be paid in restitution to the National Fish and Wildlife Forensic Lab in Ashland, Oregon to cover the cost of lab analyses for the case.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 94-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System which encompasses more than 535 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 70 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource offices and 78 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.