Group files suit to stop barred owl shooting

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) An animal rights group has sued to stop the federal government from killing thousands of barred owls in the Northwest to see if that will help the threatened northern spotted owl turn around its population declines.

The lawsuit was filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Sacramento, Calif., by Friends of Animals.

It claims the plan by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to kill 3,600 barred owls violates the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

The group's attorney, Michael Harris, says the act requires that any killing of birds for research must benefit the bird that is killed, and in this case the experiment benefits another bird, the spotted owl.

The agency did not respond to a call for comment due to the government shutdown.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.