The US Fish and Wildlife Service says that the mother who got mailed a $535 fine after her daughter saved a woodpecker and transported it, a potential violation of federal law meant to protect migratory birds, wasn’t supposed to have gotten ticketed. Here is their statement they mailed to us this afternoon:
Essentially, it says that a citation was already in the works before the Fish and Wildlife service agent visited the family’s home. After she made the house call, she put in for the citation to be canceled. Unfortunately the citation went out before the cancellation request could be processed.
On June 13, a special agent with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service observed a woman carrying a cage that contained a woodpecker at a home improvement store in Fredericksburg Virg.
As possession of a bird may potentially violate the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the agent initiated an inquiry to determine whether a potential violation had occurred.
Upon speaking with the subject, later identified as Alison Capo, on June 27, the agent determined that no further action was warranted. A citation that had been previously drafted by the agent was cancelled on June 28.
Unfortunately, the citation was processed unintentionally despite our office’s request to cancel the ticket. The Service has contacted Ms. Capo to express our regret. The Service is also sending Ms. Capo a formal letter explain the clerical error and confirming that ticket should never have been issued.
This misunderstanding was the result of a Service inquiry into possible violations of federal wildlife law. In particular the Service is responsible for the protection of all federally listed migratory birds. The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries did not participate in the inquiry.
Nobody tell Woody.