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Janesville company, manager fined for killing red-tailed hawks in excess of permit

August 31, 2018

A Janesville company that raises and sells pheasants and the company’s manager have been fined for killing red-tailed hawks in excess of what was authorized by a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

MacFarlane Pheasants was ordered to pay the maximum fine of $15,000, while production manager Chris Theisen was fined $5,000, U.S. Attorney Scott Blader said.

The company admitted to violating the terms of its federal depredation permit, which allows holders to capture or kill birds that pose a threat to human health, safety or property, according to the Fish and Wildlife Service. It is intended to provide short-term relief to bird damage until long-term, non-lethal measures can be taken to reduce damages.

The permit allowed the taking or killing of up to 10 red-tailed hawks in 2014. Blader said the company submitted documents claiming it took no hawks in 2014. However, Fish and Wildlife officials obtained evidence in 2015 that the company had taken and killed more than 10 of the migratory birds the previous year.

“While we have a system in place to help farmers and ranchers with the depredation of their animals, it’s essential that permit holders follow the law and work with us to find legal solutions,” Fish and Wildlife Service Special Agent in Charge Gregory Jackson said.

The company was initially charged after Fish and Wildlife officials received a tip in 2015 and conducted an investigation.

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