Wyoming Indian tribe given permit to kill two bald eagles
March 18, 2012
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a permit to the Northern Arapaho Tribe in Wyoming to kill two bald eagles this year for religious purposes. A permit was granted to the tribe on March 9 allowing it either to kill or capture and release two bald eagles this year. The tribe sued the agency last fall arguing that the refusal of the federal government to issue eagle permits violated tribal members' religious freedom.
Bald eagles were removed from the federal list of threatened species in 2007. The birds remain protected under the federal Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. The Federal government allows American Indians to possess feathers and body parts from dead eagles, however Federal law prohibits non-Indians from killing or possessing any part of bald eagles. Several Indian tribes have been given permits to kill golden eagles for religious purposes.
Tribal members are calling the permit a victory for tradition. Some animal rights groups question why the tribe canít meet its religious needs using feathers or carcasses from birds killed by power lines or other causes.