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Barred Owl Suit Filed

October 01, 2013 | Barred Owls

September 30, 2013--Friends of Animals filed suit against the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service challenging their plan to kill over 3,600 Barred Owls in the Pacific Northwest.  

The Northern spotted owl population in the United States has been in decline for more than 40 years.  Since being listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act in 1990, habitat destruction, primarily due to logging of old growth forest in California, Oregon and Washington, has been recognized as the primary threat to the Northern spotted owl. 

In approving the Barred Owl Removal Plan, the Federal Defendants identified a new threat to the Northern spotted owl: the Barred owl. The Barred Owl Removal Plan does nothing to protect Northern spotted owls, but instead attempts to divert focus on protection of Northern spotted owl habitat by scapegoating Barred owls. Not only, however, is the Barred Owl Removal plan immoral, unethical and cruel, it is illegal.

In issuing a scientific collecting permit under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (“MBTA”), 16 U.S.C. §§ 703-712, FWS fails to identify    any legitimate reason why the action would help science better understand and conserve the Barred owl.  Because the permit is really to allow indiscriminate killing of the owl, it is inconsistent with the intent of the MBTA and the international conventions behind to protect species like the Barred owl, not kill them.


Update: Our lawsuit has been generating some attention and was written about in a Seattle newspaper.


Insane - what is the matter with our government? I know - many things.

the development of a country can be illustrated by how it treats its fellow sentient beings. killing owls is not a statement of a compassionate, mature, wise nation. how do you wish to be seen by the rest of the world? you should care about that and all beings that have no defense against cruelty.

Nature does not exist in a vacuum. Any and all efforts by humans to 'control' nature end up doing more harm than good. A pity that we, the most invasive species of all,' think we are right and just and perpetuate wanton havoc on other living creatures when we are the ones destroying habitats and making the planet unlivable. Shame on the USDA for once again being the mercenary army it is. STOP KILLING NOW!

Here is an article I wrote this summer on this problem:

Bob Zybach, PhD Environmental Sciences