BILLINGS, Montana, U.S. (AP) – The administration of President Joe Biden announced Thursday that it will delay a rule finalized in the final days of the Donald Trump administration that would have drastically weakened the government’s power to enforce a century-old law that protects most wild birds.
Wildlife authorities have said the previous government rule would have killed more birds, including those that land on oil wells or collide with power lines and other structures. But during the Trump administration, the Department of the Interior sided with industry groups seeking to thwart prosecutions over accidental but preventable bird deaths.
The rule was to go into effect on 8 February, but The Associated Press learned of the postponement before the official announcement. Interior Department officials said they were postponing the rule by order of Biden and will reopen the issue for public comment.
“The Migratory Bird Treaty Act is a fundamental environmental law to protect birds migratory birds and restore declining bird populations, ”said Interior Department spokeswoman Melissa Schwartz. “The Trump administration sought to reverse decades of bipartisan and international precedents to protect polluting companies.”
More than 1. 000 species of birds are protected by this law dating back to 1918.