A rule by the U S Fish and Wildlife Service (50 CFR Part 21) (www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/RegulationsPolicies/reg2010/Muscovy Duck Final Rule 1 March 2010.pdf ) went into effect on March 31, 2010 which makes it illegal to raise domestic Muscovy ducks in the U S.
According to this rule, it is now illegal to raise domestic Muscovy ducks without a federal permit. This rule makes no distinction between wild Muscovy ducks and domestic Muscovy ducks.
The Fish and Wildlife Service is now aware of the large number of people that raise domestic Muscovy ducks as livestock, pets, and for exhibition and they are in the process of revising these rules. They have suspended enforcement of this rule pending revision of the rules (www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/NewReportsPublications/FactSheets/Muscovy Fact Sheet 3-31-2010.pdf . Now is the time to make your voice heard on this issue. A suggested letter template is attached below.
For more information visit: Oppose the Muscovy Ban http://muscovyban.blogspot.com/2010/04/rule-by-u-s-fish-and-wildlife-service.html
ACTION TO TAKE
Please contact George T. Allan by email or regular mail
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
1849 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20240
Dear Dr. Allen:
I am contacting you in regard to the recent regulation by the Fish and Wildlife Service (CFR 21.54) regarding Muscovy Ducks.
This new regulation makes it illegal for private citizens or organizations to possess Muscovy ducks. While I understand the need to pass regulations that help control the feral Muscovy duck problem in some communities in the United States, I feel that this new regulation overextends the rights of the FWS in regards to private ownership of Muscovy ducks. It is my understanding that you are currently working on a revision to this new rule. I feel that it is important that you give the issues raised in this letter consideration in drafting this proposed revision.
Muscovy ducks have been domesticated since the 1500s (http://muscovyban.blogspot.com/p/history-of-domestication-of-muscovy.html Numerous hatcheries in the US sell domestic Muscovy ducks, many bred from Muscovies from France. The FWS has failed to recognize this long history of the domestic Muscovy as livestock. Domestic Muscovy ducks are livestock, and as such should not be subject to U S Fish and Wildlife regulations.
I feel strongly that the U S Fish and Wildlife Service should recognize a distinction between wild Muscovy ducks and the domestic Muscovies that have been raised as livestock all across the world for hundreds of years.
I see no problem with the portions of the rules (21.54 Control order for muscovy ducks in the United States) that allows localities to control feral populations of Muscovies that have become a problem. There does not appear to be any conflict between this control order and recognizing domestic Muscovies as livestock and exempting them from this regulation.
Please incorporate the following points in the revised rule:
–Amend 21.14 Permit exceptions for captive-bred migratory waterfowl other than mallard ducks to include the following:
1. Domestic Muscovy ducks have a long history of domestication and have long been raised as livestock both in the United States and around the world. Muscovy ducks that are owned as livestock (for the production of meat, eggs, or breeding stock), pets, or for exhibition shall be considered domestic Muscovy ducks.
2. No migratory bird permit(s) shall be required to possess, propagate, or sell (as live birds, meat, or eggs) domestic Muscovy ducks.
3. The intentional release of domestic Muscovy ducks to the wild shall be prohibited.
4. You may not take Muscovy ducks or their eggs from the wild , unless such taking is provided for elsewhere in this subchapter.
–Do not place any additional restrictions on domestic Muscovy ducks other than items 2-4 above.
–Keep 21.54 Control order for muscovy ducks in the United States in effect without revision. It seems important that landowners, and Federal, State, Tribal and local wildlife management agencies be able to control feral populations of Muscovy ducks in areas where they are not native without a depredation permit.
Thank you for your efforts to revise this rule to recognize the domesticated history of the Muscovy duck.