Veterinarians have long advised people to avoid the temptation of picking up and throwing an unwanted hawk.
But this week, the Arizona legislature decided to give them a new tool.
The bill, SB 1661, would create a state-level “hawk deterrent” law, which would ban the keeping of any bird, hawk or ferret in residential or commercial zones.
The legislation is part of the state’s “Eagle-in-the-Sun” pilot program, which aims to educate Arizona citizens about the health risks of the bird.
The Hawk Defend program was started in 2012 by the Arizona Department of Agriculture, Wildlife and Parks.
The program has so far enrolled 3,500 birds, with more than 4,000 participating this year, according to the department.
Currently, the law prohibits the keeping or selling of any hawk in the state.
The new bill would also require all hawks that enter residential or business zones to be immediately quarantined.
It would also create a statewide bird monitoring program to ensure all hawkes are removed from residential or businesses.
“Hawk deterrents have been around for decades and have proven effective in deterring bird-related crimes, especially domestic bird control,” Arizona Department for Natural Resources and Tourism director Michael Hagan said in a statement.
“SB 1661 aims to make sure we continue to use effective deterrents, while also ensuring that hawks can’t be a nuisance.”
The hawk deterrent law was originally proposed as a response to an attack on a male hawk in Tucson in 2009.
The incident prompted a study by the National Wildlife Federation, which found that hawk deterrents were effective at keeping domestic hawks from getting into the home and damaging property.
According to the group, a hawk deterrent is effective in removing a hawk from a home, and it also “has been shown to reduce the likelihood of the hawk attacking the owner.”
The study found that a hawk that is removed from the home is “significantly less likely to attack a person, pet or property” than a hawk removed from a public place.