The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s heinous Barred Owl Removal Experiment that is underway in the Pacific Northwest, which Friends of Animals is challenging legally, just went from bad to worse.

The unethical, cruel removal plan scapegoats barred owls and is allowing 3,600 of them to be killed to see the effect on the declining Northern spotted owl—instead of recognizing the primary threat to Northern spotted owls—habitat destruction, primarily due to logging of old growth forest in California, Oregon and Washington.

In an unthinkable, preposterous move, the USFWS is now considering granting the Oregon Department of Forestry a permit to kill Northern spotted owls, the species it is trying to conserve, through activities including timber harvest, spraying, fertilizing and road construction. The proposed permit would authorize the slaughter of Northern spotted owls on approximately 20,000 acres of Oregon Department of Forestry lands, including 10,254 acres of critical habitat area and approximately 3,345 acres that are considered nesting/roosting habitat for spotted owls.

This backwards thinking is unacceptable to Friends of Animals, and our Wildlife Law Program has submitted comments to the USFWS against Oregon Department of Forestry’s application to kill northern spotted owls. Read our comments here:

In the meantime, FoA’s legal case against the Barred Owl Removal Plan is now before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. FoA recognizes the immense significance of this case, because ethically, the government has never previously proposed such a mass killing. Legally, the barred owl decision cuts a massive exception to the stringent protections once provided under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act for species like the barred owl. We need the courts to restore these protections.