A group of U.S. Senators sent a letter to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) urging the agency to streamline the permitting process to allow livestock and aquaculture producers greater flexibility in protecting their animals from avian predators shielded under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA). Some predatory birds protected under the MBTA, such as double-crested cormorants, black vultures and ravens, can inflict serious harm upon livestock and fish. USDA has reported that black vultures are responsible for 10 percent of all calves lost to predators. While producers are permitted to use certain methods to protect their animals against these birds, the current permitting process is onerous for farmers and is often not enough to prevent loss or deter further predation.