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Kentucky Farmer Sentenced For Killing Migratory Birds


June 2, 2003

Gene Moore, (270) 527-5770
Tom MacKenzie
, (404) 679-7291

On Wednesday, May 21, Landis Franklin, a cattle farmer from Franklin, Kentucky, was sentenced in U.S. District Court, Bowling Green Kentucky, for unlawfully poisoning 40 federally protected migratory birds through the use of Carbofuran which he directed to be placed on baits distributed at various locations on his 850-acre farm for the purpose of killing predators.

Franklin was sentenced to pay a $250 fine, $10,181.36 restitution to the National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Laboratory in Ashland, Oregon (NFWFL), and placed on two years inactive probation for a single violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA). He also was sentenced to pay a $1,000 fine plus court costs for a single violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) for applying the pesticide in a manner inconsistent with it's labeling. Carbofuran, also known by its trade name of Furadan, is a pesticide which is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency in its use and application.

" Misuse of these toxic pesticides can become a serious threat to federally protected migratory birds in Kentucky and throughout the nation," said Gene Moore, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Special Agent in Benton, Kentucky. "According to the NFWFL, Carbofuran is the most often used pesticide they see in evidence submitted by our criminal investigators in these poisoned wildlife investigations."

The investigation of this case began in January, 2003 when a Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources officer learned that numerous dogs had been poisoned and suspected that migratory birds also may have been killed. The Kentucky officer contacted a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Special Agent who initiated the federal investigation. Other agencies providing valuable assistance to the investigation included the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Criminal Investigation Division. A total of 78 items of evidence were seized from the Franklin property, including containers of Carbofuran, dead dogs, opossum, and coyote, along with the carcasses of red-tailed hawks, doves, cardinals, and numerous other federally protected migratory birds.

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 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System which encompasses 541 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 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.


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