Filed under: Domestic Policy, Environment, Law | Tags: Excessive Regulation, Overcriminalization, The Heavy Hand of Government
FREDRICKSBURG, Va. (WUSA) — Eleven year-old aspiring veterinarian ,Skylar Capo, sprang into action the second she learned that a baby woodpecker in her Dad’s backyard was about to be eaten by the family cat.
“I’ve just always loved animals,”said Skylar Capo. “I couldn’t stand to watch it be eaten.”
She couldn’t find the woodpecker’s mother , so she brought the baby bird to her own mother Alison Capo, who agreed to take it home. “She was just going to take care of it for a day or two, make sure it was safe and uninjured, and then she was going to let it go,”
On the way home they stopped at a Lowes in Fredricksburg and brought the bird inside because of the heat. That’s when they were confronted by a fellow shopper who said she worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. She pulled out a badge.
The problem was that the woodpecker is a protected species under the Federal Migratory Bird Act. Therefore, it is illegal to take or transport a baby woodpecker. The Capos said they had no idea. As soon as they got home, they opened the cage, the bird flew away, and they reported it to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “They said that’s great, that’s exactly what we want to see. We thought we had done everything we could possibly do. “
About two weeks later the same woman showed up at the Capo house. This time, accompanied by a state trooper. Capo refused to accept a citation, but was later mailed a notice to appear in U.S. District Court for unlawfully taking a migratory bird. She has also been slapped with a $535 fine. If convicted she could face a year in jail.
After a little publicity, the Service determined that no further action was warranted and the ticket should not have been issued.
The amount of excessive regulation that needs to be undone is a little frightening.
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