Contact: Nicholas Throckmorton, 703/358-2235
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced a major revision to the regulations governing falconry in the United States and its territories. The changes, published in today's Federal Register, simplify the agency's regulations and reflect current practices in the traditional use of raptors for sport hunting.
"Falconers care deeply about wild raptors, hunting and the legacy of their sport," said Service Director H. Dale Hall. "At the request of state fish and wildlife agencies and falconers nationwide, the new regulations streamline the permitting process and clarify what is considered as acceptable falconry practices."
Highlights of the new falconry regulations include:
The Service first proposed the revisions and opened a public comment period on February 9, 2005, in response to a request from the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (state fish and wildlife agencies). The request asked the Service to consider eliminating the duplicative federal/state falconry permit system. During the 90 day public comment period, the Service received 967 comments from individuals and organizations, including 30 from states and 3 from other government entities on the proposed rule. The final rule can be found at http://migratorybirds.fws.gov.
The Service is the Federal agency with the primary responsibility for managing migratory birds. Falconry regulations are based on the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, which implements conventions with Canada, Mexico, Japan and Russia. Falconry regulations for golden eagles are based on the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.