Post by birdguy888 on May 31, 2006 18:08:08 GMT -5
Think your imping feathers are legal under your falconry permits? Think again! I was told I would be receiving a citation in the mail for the illegal possession of falconry feathers! Yep, you read that right! I got in an argument with a federal agent and when I started yelling the State Officer started walking away. It turns out that even though your falconry licneses allow you to have feathers for falconry birds for imping in your class designation, it is flawed. The agent told me that even though you can possess them for imping purposes, if you no longer have the bird that the feathers go to (species specific) it is a violation of federal law. I had some red-tail hawk feathers since I'm such a fan of them but since I do not have a red-tail hawk right now it put me in possession of illegal feathers. If you have feathers of any species of raptor to which you do not have the actual bird for falconry purposes, get rid of them. The agent told me that they are checking every single falconer in the United States, one by one and he said they have not found a falconer yet that they have not given a citation to. I wanted to post this for everyone to be safe and not have to go through this. I was told it will cost about $550. Since I'm sharing this information, if anyone out there is really rich and wants to send some fundage to help me pay this fine I could definately use it or if FB doesn't mind we could start at "poor Eddie's ticket fund"! LMAO
Last Edit: May 31, 2006 18:10:33 GMT -5 by birdguy888
Post by birdguy888 on May 31, 2006 18:39:21 GMT -5
I agree. I about passed out when I seen the law enforcement officer and when I seen the other guy with him I new right off he was a federal agent. All dressed in black, dark glasses, suit to hide his gun and badges (I mean badges....he has I think 4 or 5 different badges for identification purposes). I about died when they told me what they were there for! What kills me is the price of the fine. I couldn't believe it. I could understand if I was a horrible person and shot a hawk to get the feathers but they were under my license and class designation at the time and still are!
Post by birdguy888 on May 31, 2006 18:45:26 GMT -5
According to the agent it doesn't matter. In order to have feathers on falconry licenses you have to be in the immediate possession of the actual bird. So if you had a kestrel and then switched over to a red-tail, your kestrels feathers are illegal under federal laws that govern protected and migratory species.
Eddie, did you talk to them about how that will affect your falconry permit? My understanding is that if you admit to any violation, they can revoke your permit. Paying a fine is the equivalent of admitting guilt. Unless you have it in writing from them that they will not seek revocation after you pay the fine, you might want to consult with an attorney or perhaps NAFA and Frank Bond about this. I would think NAFA would want to know about this "plan" they have to do this with every falconer in the U.S.
Looked at our state regs and they say this: "Feathers. Molted feathers or feathers from birds that die in captivity may be retained and exchanged by permittees only for imping purposes." Anyone know what the federal regs say specifically?
"Feathers that are molted or those feathers from birds held in captivity that die may be retained and exchanged by permittees only for imping purposes."
Reading both of these tells me that any feathers that are molted may be retained. Plain as day: "Feathers that are molted . . . may be retained . . .." Seems to me the only problem would be if you had feathers from a raptor you never had on your permit. I see nothing that says you can't have feathers from birds you no longer have. It even says you can keep feathers from birds that die. Obviously you don't have them anymore if they're dead.
If I were you and didn't have any assurances they would not seek revocation of your permit, I would fight the citation. My understanding is that if they revoke your permit, it is for 5 years, but as a practice they deny requests for reinstatement after the 5 years is up.
Post by Master Yarak on May 31, 2006 21:23:02 GMT -5
I was told that I could not possess any feathers for a bird I did not actually have. That was some years ago. I had some coopers feathers and kestrel feathers that I got from rehab birds so I got rid of them. I have some exotic feathers that are not a problem. Matt, if you found raptor feathers you must let them lay. Eddie, I feel for you of all people. I really think you got the shaft. I go on and on about always maintaining high standards. As long as I have been on this forum, you have always represented falconry the way it should be. Don't let this get to you. Keep on keeping on. If I were rich I would wire you the cash just to spite the authorities! Yarak
If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away
Eddie, do you know Jason Jones? He is a falconer/breeder that lives in Roy Utah. He is also an attorney and might be able to give you some free advice. He is also an eagle falconer and when he is on the eagle web page he always gives us advice. If you don't know him, I can give you his email address.
Post by birdguy888 on May 31, 2006 23:23:27 GMT -5
Thanks everyone. raptrlvr, no I do not know Jason. I have heard of him but don't know him personally so I would appreciate his email address or even a phone number for his home or law office. I definately need to nip this in the bud. To my understnading talking about the falconry for this year, he did not say my licenses were in jeopardy, only that I would be mailed a citation when he got around to it, but the simple fact is I better stay one step ahead of him. Tomorrow I am going to mail a certified letter to the agent requiring that he mails me the stipulations in writing about this specific issue. As mentioned, the feathers I had were obviously within my class designation and they were molted from my red-tails that I have had. I believe they are knit-picking and making him give me this in writing, since he won't be able to, will give me fuel for the fire in court. Does anyone have Frank Bond's email address or phone number so I can also get a hold of him. I'm sure he can also help or even help with an attorney since they are THE organization for us.