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The Airborne Hunting Act (“Act”) is a federal legislation that prohibits shooting or attempting to shoot, harassing, capturing or killing any bird, fish, or other animal from aircraft except for certain specified reasons. The provisions of the Act do not apply to state or federal employees, authorized agents, or persons acting under a license or permit, who are authorized to administer or protect land, water, wildlife, livestock, domesticated animals, human life or crops. States authorized to issue permits have the duty to file reports with the Secretary of the Interior. The reports should contain information on any permits issued, and the reason for issuing such permits.
The Act was added as a new section to the Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956. It is also know as Shooting from Aircraft Act. 16 USCS § 742j-1 contains the provisions of the Act. The Secretary of the Interior is responsible for enforcing the provisions of the Act [16 USCS § 742j-1(d)].
Any person who violates the provisions of the Act is subject to arrest without warrant. The arrest may be made by any employee of the Department of the Interior authorized by the Secretary of the Interior to enforce the provisions of the Act [16 USCS § 742j-1(d)]. The Act imposes a fine of $5,000 or an imprisonment for up to one year, or both to any person who shoots or attempts to shoot, harass, capture or kill any bird, fish or other animal from aircraft. [16 USCS § 742j-1(a)].
Animals, birds, or fishes captured or killed violating the provisions of the Act, and all guns, aircraft and other equipment used in violation of this Act, are subject to forfeiture to the U.S. Federal laws relating to the forfeiture of vessels for violation of custom laws apply to forfeitures under this Act. [16 USCS § 742j-1(e), (f)].