- Associated Press - Friday, October 3, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) - A federal judge has tossed an animal-advocacy group’s lawsuit over the now-halted practice of shooting snowy owls near runways at the New York City area’s major airports.

U.S. District Judge John Gleeson ruled Friday that federal agencies didn’t overstep their legal authority in allowing the killings of three snowy owls last December. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said such birds had hit five planes at Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark Liberty airports.

The port stopped the killings. But the group Friends of Animals sued some federal agencies, saying the shootings could resume and it wanted to know the guidelines.

Lawyers for both sides have no immediate comment.

Gleeson said he hoped authorities could “find tools to diminish the danger to planes without killing so many birds.”

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