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Thursday, March 15, 2012
AMERICAN INDIAN TRIBE GIVEN OK TO KILL TWO BALD EAGLES FOR RELIGIOUS PURPOSES
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has given the OK for an American Indian tribe to kill two bald eagles for religious purposes.
The decision comes after the Northern Arapaho Tribe in Wyoming filed a federal lawsuit alleging that the agency‘s refusal to allow them to do so was a violation of tribal members’ religious freedom, the Associated Press reported.
While no longer on the federal list of endangered or threatened species, federal law prohibits the killing of bald eagles under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. American Indians are able to apply for eagle feathers or carcases to use in their ceremonies from a federal repository. They can apply for permits to kill bald eagles as well, though such permission is incredibly rare.
According to the Associated Press, it’s been almost three years since the Arapaho tribe applied for such a permit, and a lawyer for the tribe said they believed it necessary to go to court in order to get one. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service granted the permit Friday.