Monday, September 25, 2023
Courthouse News Service
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Save C657! California Sea Lion Could Be Innocent

PORTLAND, Ore. (CN) - An animal rights group asked a state court to stop the Oregon Department of Fish and Game from killing California sea lion No. C657, which is accused of "the crime of eating too many salmon." In Defense of Animals says the state does not have sufficient evidence to prove that C657 did it.

"Plaintiff C657 is a California sea lion scheduled to be executed by defendants for the crime of eating too many salmon," states the complaint in Multnomah County Court.

Plaintiffs say the state "lacks sufficient certitude as to the actions of plaintiff C657 to invoke the Section 120 exception to the protection plaintiff C657 is entitled to under the Marine Mammal Protection Act."

The defendant has a permit from the National Marine Fisheries Service "to kill individual pinnipeds documented as having a significant adverse effects [sic] on runs of endangered salmon."

But In Defense of Animals says the state accuses C657 of crimes that may have been committed by B127.

They say the state "aggregated the behaviors attributed to the two numbers and held plaintiff C657 responsible for the aggregate in determining to execute plaintiff C657. ... There is obviously irreparable harm if ODFW is permitted to execute plaintiff C657, if plaintiff C657 did not meet the stringent requirements for conducting such an execution."

Plaintiffs demand a protective injunction "prohibiting defendant ODFW from executing or otherwise interfering with the freedom of plaintiff C657."

They are represented by Paul Loney.

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