USFWS Pacific Southwest Region
The Trump administration is considering rolling back protections for migratory birds that punished companies that accidentally killed them.
According to The Hill:
A new regulation set to be unveiled by the Interior Department would end most federal protections for migratory birds, allowing companies that accidentally kill such animals to not face punishments.
The New York Times reported that a rule change set to be unveiled by the agency as soon as Thursday would codify a legal opinion issued by the Interior Department in 2017 that found that laws established to protect migratory birds should not be applied in situations where animal deaths are accidental.
When in effect, the rule change would allow companies that to not set up safeguard to prevent the deaths of migratory birds from facing penalties, as only deliberate killings would now be considered actionable. The change would come as the agency has already largely stopped investigating such deaths under the Trump administration, according to the Times.
The proposed change was immediately criticized by environmental groups, who said that it would allow companies to get away with not taking action to prevent accidental deaths.
Many environmental groups and liberal states are taking legal action to reverse the rule which they say puts birds at risk.