OC NewsBRIEF Oct-Nov 2017

In this time period, the Ornithological Council:

1. Sent individual e-mails to every member of the U.S.-based societies to alert them to proposals in the pending tax legislation that would be detrimental to graduate students and to universities and colleges. We also posted an article on OrnithologyExchange, sent notices to AVECOL, asked that the article be posted on the PSG listserve and sent to Waterbird Society members via e-mail blast, and asked AOS to post the article on the AOS Facebook page and the AOS twitter feed.

2. Wrote and posted an article on OrnithologyExchange explaining pending legislation that could weaken protection of species listed under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The article was sent to the AOS Conservation Committee chair and the social media manager for dissemination through AOS social media and to the PSG listserve.

3. Asked DOI Secretary Ryan Zinke and other DOI officials to increase staffing levels for the permits office of the Division of Migratory Bird Management, which now has only one staffer in the headquarters office, doing the job of at least three people. We also requested allocation of funding for development of an online permit application and reporting system.

4.  Executive Director Ellen Paul met with officials in the USFWS Division of Migratory Bird Management to discuss permit conditions, including euthanasia, authorization by permittee to allow others to use permit, and post-import possession. Also discussed: resolution of order of issuance of federal permits vs. state permits (a problem that was actually resolved 18 years ago but that has re-emerged). That last problem was resolved within 24 hours of the meeting and DMBM staff indicated that they would likely accede to the other requests as well.

5. OC Executive Director Ellen Paul was a panelist in three panel presentations and three break-out group discussions for the 2017 conference of the Scientists’ Center for Animal Welfare titled Meeting the Challenges of IACUC Oversight in Fish and Wildlife Research, held in San Diego in late October.

6. OC Executive Director Ellen Paul presented a paper at the Second International Bird Observatory Conference in Cape May, NJ, on Saturday, October 28. The talk focused on the requirements of the Animal Welfare Act and how and when it might (or might not) apply to bird observatories.

7. Assisted 16 individuals with permit questions/problems (names appear in reports to society leadership).

8. Assisted two individuals with IACUC/animal welfare questions/problems (names appear in reports to society leadership).

9. Revised the OC Fact Sheet on rapid cardiac compression, consistent with the recently published study, and distributed same to ornithologists, veterinarians, and IACUC chairs and members.

10. In response to a request from an attorney involved in the Christine Lattin matter, OC identified subject-matter experts in animal welfare compliance, avian pain perception, and the type of questions Lattin is studying. We were later informed that the attorney has decided against obtaining expert reviews at this time.

11. Administrative: Completed annual 990s, continued work on new website, updating permits content (starting with state permits info). We hope to have the new website completed by mid-December.


ACTION: Asked the White House Office of Management and Budget and the Dept of the Interior Office of Policy, Management, and Budget to re-instate the regulatory processes for the conservation education permits (which included citizen salvage) and CITES (which includes the OC petition to suspend or eliminate a problematic import requirement). OUTCOME: OC received a response stating that the CITES regulatory action would be reinstated and the petition would be considered in the process.