As you have all probably heard by now, there is a lawsuit making its way through the California Federal Courts that might have significant consequences to falconry in North America.
For some time now NAFA has been examining while monitoring the lawsuit and the main complaints, while the Conservation Committee and the legal team prepared their in-depth analysis, briefs, and position statements to advise and guide the NAFA board on the best course of action. As a group of volunteers the level of analysis that has taken place is incredible. From the position statement of the Conservation Committee to the amount of time and expertise involved in the legal deliberations, tracking the case, and preparing briefs, all while trying to hunt our birds and work our 9-5 jobs. Remember, at the end of the day NAFA is a club made up of volunteers that try to balance our commitments, family, work, birds, with our NAFA responsibilities.
There are many legal nuances to the complaints. The possible outcomes are numerous, the potential impacts to our sport significant, both good and bad. Regardless of what others say on social media or you read about on the web, there is no right or wrong answer, it is just not as simple as one would hope. A single example, the private property complaint might bring into question the legal definition of what falconry is and the privileges associated with the licensing and permitting of falconry. If falconry is redefined the possible effects could be far reaching.
The lawsuit covers a wide variety of other issues ranging from what constitutes reasonable search to how, and even whether, the government can regulate what you do with captive bred or wild birds of prey. For these reasons, we have taken our time to carefully analyze and understand the complaint. Last week, at the recommendation of both the Conservation Committee and NAFA Legal team, the Board of Directors instructed NAFA General Counsel to prepare an amicus curiae brief to be submitted on behalf of NAFA. If the court accepts NAFA will join as amicus curiae (i.e. friend of the court) and becomes a party to the case. We will assist in the courts deliberation by offering information, expertise, or insight that has a bearing on the specific issues of the case.
NAFA will continue to examine and monitor the lawsuit carefully. It is quite likely that the NAFA board will support certain aspects of the lawsuit and take issue with others. Whatever we do, you can be sure that NAFA will operate on the best available information in the best interests of ALL falconry.
Thanks for your continued and lasting support of NAFA.