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FWC approves draft rule to allow peregrine falcons for falconry

For immediate release: September 9, 2009
Contact: Patricia Behnke, 850-251-2130
FWC approves draft rule to allow peregrine falcons for falconry

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) moved one step closer to allowing falconers to take peregrine falcons for the sport of falconry. At the meeting in Howey-in-the-Hills on Wednesday, the Commission directed staff to finalize the rule that authorizes the take of peregrine falcons for falconry with a permit issued by the FWC.

Since its formation in 2002, the American Falconry Conservancy has accomplished a great deal.

Regulation Comments

I want to thank the USFWS for the opportunity to comment on the changes in the falconry regulations, RIN 1018–AW44. As president of the American Falconry Conservancy (AFC), I wish to convey to the USFWS the position of  this organization in relation to the inspection of  falconers birds, mews and paperwork. It is the position of the American Falconry Conservancy that after passing the initial inspection as an apprentice falconer by the state , that random inspections are considered warrantless searches that have no basis in law. The AFC is opposed to including administrative inspections in the final federal regulations as well as the demand that states are required to carry out these inspections. We further oppose the requirement that falconers must sign a document allowing the inspections as a prerequisite to their falconry permit. Falconry inspections that occur after the initial inspection are used as a method of search for infractions that can be utilized to revoke a falconers license and potentially remove their birds, which are considered private property. These warrantless searches are contrary to the Constitution of the United States. The AFC is in favor of a search when there is evidence of infractions or danger to the raptor and a warrant is easily obtained in these situations. The attached file is in support for this position and is based on the Constitution as well as Supreme Court cases. The AFC strongly urges the USFWS to consider removing the requirement for these inspections from the proposed regulations in order to be compliant with federal law.