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Bill Calls For A 50-Fold Increase In State Fine For Shooting A Bald Eagle

Statewide Iowa — A bill that would dramatically raise the fine for killing a bald eagle in Iowa has again soared past an initial hearing in the House.

Backers say last year’s attempt to raise the state fine from 50 bucks all the way to $25-hundred failed due to timing, not from lack of support. Kay Neumann of SOAR,  which stands for Saving Our Avian Resources says in January her non-profit received an eagle that was shot in Dallas County.

About eight percent of the eagles admitted to the Carroll County facility Newmann works in have been shot. Neumann says raising the state fine for shooting at an eagle should have happened long ago.

Dale Garner, a top administrator in the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, says it’s difficult to imagine someone accidentally shooting a bald eagle.

The number of eagles in Iowa swells from about 500 to 3,000 in the winter. Officials say about 40 eagles have been illegally killed IN IOWA over the past four years and all cases were forwarded to the feds. That’s because the federal penalty for capturing, killing or destroying an eagle is $25-hundred. The bill to raise the fine to that level is now eligible for debate in the House Natural Resources Committee. The bald eagle became a federally-protected species in 1940. The Continental Congress chose the bald eagle as the national emblem in 1782.

 

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