Like most teenage boys growing up, when it came to date night nothing beat a good suspense thriller with your steady girlfriend. My favorites were always Alfred Hitchcock movies, and the best of the best was The Birds
Mother nature runs amok and ordinary harmless creatures inexplicably go on the attack against an unsuspecting citizenry. I can still remember the squeals and gasps as the movie’s special effects jolted primal instincts and fears throughout the audience. I’d dare say for at least a day or two after watching this film, masses of starlings gathered on utility lines were given more than a few wary-eyed glances.
But Hitchcock is pure fiction. This couldn’t happen in real life, right … right? I doubt we will suddenly find ourselves under assault by a flock of winged predators, but one specie the Black Vulture is expanding its range into rural America with an aggressive nature that is giving its timid cousin the Turkey Vulture a bad name and farmers fits!
Besides separating new born calves from their mothers and killing them, recently one Jackson County, Tennessee resident came home from a weekend trip to find over $25,000 damage done to his home and property. Just shoot the damn things you say? Not so fast!
The Black Vulture is protected by the USDA through the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act. In theory, you CAN get a permit to kill them, but the average wait reportedly is six weeks. Meanwhile, your livestock is dead, property under siege and the TWRA is bound to enforce federal law. As a result, I have introduced SB 204 that effectively removes state and local officials from any enforcement responsibility in stopping farmers and citizens from protecting livestock, homes and property from these pests.