Miller’s research focuses on business law and how it relates to protecting threatened or endangered animals.
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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that 709,684,012 migratory birds are killed each year due to industry activities. Some examples include oil pits, contaminated water and power lines.
There are laws in place to hold businesses accountable. But our interpretation of these laws can have unseen consequences.
In 2017, the Trump administration altered the legal interpretation of the word “take” under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, creating a legal debate.
Dr. Carol Miller, distinguished professor of business law at Missouri State University, found this new interpretation placed the lives of countless birds at risk.
Miller disagreed with the 45th administration’s decision. So, she started researching.
Under the act, you cannot ‘take’ a bird. This means you cannot poach, capture, sell or purchase migratory birds or their parts. This includes feathers, nests or bodies in the U.S., Miller explained. The law also applies to the accidental killing of birds.
“The Trump administration changed an interpretation that dated back to the 1980s, which included taking a bird unintentionally,” Miller said. “They decided to stop requiring businesses to seek a permit for incidental or unintentional harm they may cause.”