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Texas - Cox Trust Admits To Waterfowl Baiting Violations On Its Anderson County Ranch

May 24, 2005

U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service agents served a citation to the Edwin L. Cox, Sr. Trust for violations of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The Trust accepted the citation and paid a monetary penalty in the amount of $120,000 to the U.S. District Court's Central Violations Bureau. The penalty is the result of repeat baiting violations spanning a five-year period.

In 2003, Service agents first responded to reports of illegal waterfowl baiting on property owned by Cox Trust in Anderson County, Texas. Further surveillance and investigation revealed that employees and agents of the Trust had routinely placed bait on the Lochridge Ranch for the purpose of attracting waterfowl for hunting. The baiting activity encompassed multiple years and involved the placement of several thousand pounds of milo grain to attract waterfowl to the gun, said Julie Scully, the Service's Assistant Special Agent in Charge for Law Enforcement in the Southwest Region. Scully also stated, ?significant large scale baiting investigations such as this will serve to deter future illegal violations.?

In addition to the payment of $120,000, the Trust is to refrain from allowing any hunting of migratory birds on the property during calendar years 2005, 2006, and 2007.

The funds collected for violations of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act will be placed into the Service's North American Wetland Conservation Fund to be used for various conservation activities that benefit wildlife.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan Jackson prosecuted the case.


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