United States v. Obendorf, No. 16-30188 (9th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
An "agricultural practice exception" set forth in 50 C.F.R. 20.21(i)(1) applies to unlawful taking, but not unlawful baiting. The Ninth Circuit affirmed defendant's conviction for illegally baiting ducks in violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and conspiring to do the same. The panel held that section 20.21(i)(1) had no role to play in defendant's case because the indictment charged him with baiting, rather than taking, migratory birds. The panel explained that, by attempting to prove that the agricultural practice exception did not apply, the government assumed a heavier burden than the law required. Therefore, the erroneous application of section 20.21(i)(1) to defendant's case was harmless.