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Airplane Fallout: Effort to Pass Bird-Killing Legislation

As we found out recently, birds can wreak havoc on their much larger neighbors in the sky. Each year, 7,000 collisions between birds and planes are reported, and while the feathered creatures don't usually cause crashes, the damage costs millions of dollars.


At Sacramento's airport, which has California's highest bird-strike rate, officials want legislation that would allow them to kill fearless birds. In fact, the initiative was introduced two days before the US Airways crash. Sacramento's airport is located on a wetland and directly in the flight path of migrating birds. This means the birds come in greater numbers and bigger sizes. Still, no crash or injury has occurred thanks to birds in Sacramento.

The airport has a federal permit to kill birds that won't be scared away by noisemakers, but state law prohibits killing nongame birds. Now they're asking the state to grant them a license to kill, too. Regardless of what you think about the city's decision to build an airport near a bird migration path and habitat, do you think the airport should be able to kill the birds, or is this a dangerous overreaction?

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