WASHINGTON (CN) – Five hunters and a hunting advocacy group say the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service illegally denies trophy import permits for elephants legally killed by tourists in Mozambique. A separate complaint challenges the denial of import permits for trophy polar bears “taken” in the Gulf of Boothia, off Baffin Island, Canada.
The hunters and Conservation Force say all their elephant permits were denied on the same day for “duplicate reasons,” and other permits are not being processed at all.
“The primary claims are that both the treatment and denial of the permits is arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion and not in accordance with CITES, the ESA, the APA, Federal Register Act and Due Process,” the federal complaint states.
They want the Fish & Wildlife Service and Department of the Interior enjoined from denying or delaying permits by treating them as low priorities, among other things.
The polar bear complaint claims to be the first attempt to import polar bear “trophies” from the Gulf of Boothia under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
Conservation Forces is based in Metairie, La. The plaintiffs are represented by John Jackson III of Metairie.