Government bureaucracy at its finest.

bird.jpg
This really doesn't have anything to do with brains or science but you can't help but revel in the incompetence of the government sometimes. I really wonder how much money got spent on this "project."
I'm also glad they are protecting stuffed animals from the 1800's. hah..
From the original article:

Tutone was dismayed when U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officers threatened to seize the bird, and reported she could face a fine or even jail time.

The news was especially shocking because though she purchased the bird at an estate sale some 20 years earlier, the Victorian "objet d'art" had been created in 1854, well before the law went into effect.

The day after federal officers visited the restaurant, Tutone contacted Snowe's office. Finally, after weeks of study and negotiation, Snowe's office has brokered a deal by which Tutone will relinquish the bird to federal officials, who will in turn lend it to the Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport.

The bird -- arranged in an ornate beveled glass frame so that its wings are splayed on either side of its long neck -- will be turned over to the museum Thursday.

Then, in a bit of irony that might make a skeptic out of the most idealistic supporter of bureaucracy, the museum will be able to lend the bird to the restaurant for the summer.

The deal has prompted Tutone to plan to host a "sea gull party" to raise money for the museum, with which she is impressed, having visited it and met with staff.

I hope they don't come after me for my stuffed animal....

Read the original article here

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ooops... still getting used to moveable type stuff.
It's fixed now.

Think about it: how do you KNOW it was collected before the law was enacted in 1918? Don't you think that's the excuse that most people give? In fact, those stuffed-bird-under-glass "objets" were popular well into the 1930s, before the law was really enforced in any meaningful way. In fact, the regulation (which you might have read before condemning the USFWS for enforcing the law) says: Sec. 21.2 Scope of regulations.

(a) Migratory birds, their parts, nests, or eggs, lawfully acquired prior to the effective date of Federal protection under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (16 U.S.C. 703-712) may be possessed or transported without a permit, but may not be imported, exported, purchased, sold, bartered, or offered for purchase, sale or barter, and all shipments of such birds must be marked as provided by part 14 of this subchapter:

She admitted that she purchased it after the date the law went into effect, and that is a prohibited act in and of itself.

Is this important enough to warrant enforcement? Think about it. If everyone thinks "this isn't a big deal" then people will think it is perfectly OK to violate the law. If I had a dime for everyone who wants to keep a wild bird as a pet....

You know Ellen, you're completely right.

On the surface though stuff like this is just really easy to make fun of.

However... on a deeper level laws are sometimes just to stringent in their penalties that they don't allow for unforeseen circumstances which can be dealt with in a reasonable fair way.

you know... remind me not to post comments when I'm running out the door. I make some pretty stupid comments. I wish there was an easy way of editing my comments.

Its just that with a combined background in science and law, and a strong sense of justice and a moral compass that works overtime, I always feel obligated to dig deeper before forming a judgment. I am deeply involved in the science integrity area, and it grieves me more when scientists come up with non-analytical, knee-jerk reactions to something than whenever others do it, because scientists are smart, and well-educated and trained to question. As I've said to anyone who won't listen: Integrity begins at home.

well...I'm in agreement with you on not liking knee-jerk reactions - but this is humor, not analysis ;)

I realized (and I hope others do as well, but this might be too much to ask - although scienceblogs isn't exactly geared toward an uneducated audience) exactly why the usfishandwildlife people had to do what they did. I'm certainly glad someone is protecting nature.

Make sure you don't read into the text I write too seriously - If I tell a racist joke it's not because I'm racist - but instead it's because I'm making fun of racists and the ridiculousness of the idea that they actually believe the joke.

If I have a serious opinion you'll know it - don't worry ;)

OK...I have to say that it didn't read like humor...which can be hard to convey in writing. And to be honest, I've read way too many rants on this topic (why is the big bad government picking on this poor innocent), so I probably read it through that filter. So sorry for misunderstanding.

Ellen

actually... my 'humor' isn't funny (well sometimes its just not funny anyway..haha..) until it's labeled as humor ;)
I'm a little dry.