The OC comments on USFWS migratory bird exhibit proposal

The Ornithological Council submitted comments on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s proposal to update its regulation regarding the exhibition of migratory birds and eagles. Currently, the agency regulates the exhibition of migratory birds under a Special Purpose Possession Live permit (through FWS Form 3–200–10c, issued under 50 CFR 21.95) and the exhibition of bald eagles and golden eagles under an Eagle Exhibition Live permit (through FWS Form 3–200–14, issued under 50 CFR 22.50)

The USFWS is proposing to issue new migratory bird exhibition regulations to authorize possession of live, non-releasable or captive-bred migratory birds for use in teaching people about migratory bird conservation and ecology, and to revise the regulations authorizing eagle exhibition.

Under the USFWS’ proposal, the agency would continue to regulate the movement of migratory birds from the wild to exhibition, with the care of exhibition birds primarily regulated by USDA under the Animal Welfare Act, through a mechanism called a regulatory authorization, which would establish eligibility criteria and conditions for the take or possession of migratory birds by an entity without requiring a permit to conduct those activities.

The OC’s comments supported the use of a regulatory authorization for those institutions that are registered with the USDA under the Animal Welfare Act, thereby reducing the regulatory burden for exhibitors of migratory birds and eagles.

In 2010, the USFWS proposed new regulations for the possession and use of migratory birds in educational programs and exhibits, but that regulation was never finalized. Read the Ornithological Council’s comments on the 2010 proposal here.

Learn more about the USFWS’ proposed changes here.

Read the Federal Register notice from the USFWS here.