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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Wisconsin

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 11, 2013

Successful Completion Of Community Service Agreement In Accidental Eagle Poisoning Case

Madison, Wis. - John W. Vaudreuil, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced the successful completion of the April 2012 agreement reached between the United States and Jennifer M. Primich, 37, of Phelps, Wis., in connection with the accidental poisoning of bald eagles on April 9, 2011, at a landfill near Eagle River, Wis.

Pursuant to the pretrial diversion agreement, Primich agreed to complete 12 hours of community outreach at County Humane Societies, specifically addressing the secondary mortality effects of using euthanasia drugs. Primich made presentations to the following 12 organizations:

1. Oneida County Humane Society (formerly Rhinelander Animal Shelter), Rhinelander, Wis.;
2. Lincoln County Humane Society, Merrill, Wis.;
3. Hope Animal Shelter, Ironwood, Mich. (also serves Iron County, Wis.);
4. Forest County Humane Society, Crandon, Wis.;
5. Chequamagon Humane Association, Inc., Ashland, Wis.;
6. Rusk County Animal Shelter, Ladysmith, Wis.;
7. Taylor County Humane Society, Inc., Medford, Wis.;
8. Clark County Humane Society, Neillsville, Wis.;
9. Jackson County Animal Shelter, Black River Falls, Wis.;
10. Monroe County Animal Shelter, Sparta, Wis.;
11. Adams County Animal Shelter, Friendship, Wis.; and
12. Catkins Animal Rescue, Inc., Park Falls, Wis.

United States Attorney Vaudreuil praised Primich's efforts, stating, "The goals of this pretrial diversion agreement have been completely met. The dangers and risks from the secondary mortality effects of euthanasia drugs have been described to many humane societies and shelters in the Western District of Wisconsin. I am confident that wildlife that might otherwise have been harmed is safer today."

Seven bald eagles were found comatose and near death near the landfill on April 9, 2011. An investigation conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources established that the eagles were poisoned accidentally after feeding on the remains of euthanized animals. Primich had sent the remains to the landfill on behalf of the Vilas County Humane Society.

On June 1, 2011, after weeks of intensive care, the eagles - three adults and four juveniles - all recovered from the euthanasia toxin and were successfully released back to the wild at Antigo, Wis., by Marge Gibson and her staff at the Raptor Education Group. Thus, the largest and most successful rescue of poisoned eagles came to a dramatic and happy completion.

Given the serious, but accidental, poisoning of the eagles, the United States decided that an appropriate resolution of this case was for Primich to complete one hour of community outreach per month for 12 months at county humane societies, addressing the secondary mortality effects of using euthanasia drugs. Primich has now successfully completed this agreement, and there will be no criminal charges filed.

Unites States Attorney Vaudreuil stated that this successful resolution was the result of a joint investigation between the Wisconsin DNR and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. For more information about the secondary poisoning effects associated with euthanasia chemicals please visit http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/poison.pdf.

Updated July 14, 2015