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January 18, 2005
Contact: Rocky Beach, (360) 902-2510

Commission OKs wild-caught raptor breeding, but sale or trade of progeny still illegal

OLYMPIA - The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will allow licensed falconers in Washington state to breed wild-caught raptors, but the offspring will still not be available for sale or trade.

The nine-member citizens panel, which sets policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), adopted the new rule during a regularly scheduled workshop in Olympia on Jan. 14.

The commission's action comes after a petition by the Washington Falconer's Association to allow the breeding and sale of progeny of captive bred raptors. Commissioners and WDFW staff expressed concern that allowing such a move would lead to the commercialization of wildlife and rejected the proposal.

However, commissioners agreed that allowing the breeding of wild-caught raptors by falconers would provide diversity within the captive-bred breeding pool and provide a captive gene pool should re-introduction of any raptor species be necessary.

The commission will review the policy in two years.