The Humane Society of the United States
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Federal Court of Appeals order invalidates decision to allow Zimbabwe and Zambia elephant and lion trophy imports

Media Contact: Thaisi Da Silva: 202-578-6767,

Today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit upheld the conservation mandate of the Endangered Species Act, supporting the need to rigorously analyze applications to import hunting trophies of species threatened with extinction.

This federal court order, coming only weeks after President Trump tweeted that he was reconsidering the agency’s decision to allow imports of elephant and lion trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia, means that those recent decisions by the agency are invalid.

Anna Frostic, managing attorney for wildlife litigation for The Humane Society of the United States, said, "The federal government must carefully consider the science demonstrating that trophy hunting negatively impacts the conservation of imperiled species. We strongly urge the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to take immediate action to rescind its unlawful decisions to liberalize elephant and lion trophy imports."

The Court also held that the agency must take public comment on any blanket decisions to allow or prohibit trophy imports based on individual countries management plans.