The US Fish and Wildlife Service this month granted a permit to the Northern Arapaho Tribe to capture and kill two wild bald eagles a year for use in religious ceremonies. Although some conservation and animal-rights groups question the need for killing, suggesting the tribe use the carcasses of eagles killed accidentally instead, the tribe maintains that wild birds are necessary. The tribe had filed a lawsuit against the Service to force the grant of the permit, but the Service says its decision was unrelated to the pending litigation. Federal law protects bald and golden eagles, but the government has granted permits for killing eagles in religious ceremonies to several Native American tribes.

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