"U.S. Effort To Protect Bald Eagle Suffers Legal Setback"

"The bald eagle may no longer be at risk of extinction, but the U.S. effort to protect the national bird became harder on Wednesday.

A federal appeals court revived a religion-based challenge to a U.S. regulation that allows only members of Indian tribes recognized by the government to possess the birds' feathers, so long as they first obtain permits.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the Department of the Interior did not show the regulation was the "least restrictive means" to advance the compelling government interest in protecting the bald eagle because of its status as a national symbol."

Jonathan Stempel reports for Reuters August 21, 2014.

Source: Reuters, 08/21/2014