Safari Club International Files Motion For Preliminary Injunction Against Elephant Importation Bans

USFWS elephant import ban

USFWS elephant import banYesterday, April 30, 2014, Safari Club International’s (SCI) litigation team took the second step in its challenge to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) bans on the importation of sport-hunted elephants from Zimbabwe and Tanzania. SCI filed a motion for a preliminary injunction, asking the court to immediately lift the importation bans. SCI’s motion explained that emergency relief is necessary to prevent harm to those who have elephant hunts planned for 2014 and to the elephants whose conservation has been placed at risk by the FWS’s actions.

In the preliminary injunction documents, SCI argued that (1) elephant conservation, including anti-poaching efforts, will suffer under the bans; (2) hunters and safari operators, are irreparably harmed by the loss to the value of hunts and the loss of business; and (3) decreased numbers of U.S. hunters means that the hunting operations will have less money to invest in community projects and habitat improvement. Together with the motion, SCI submitted a record number of over 40 declarations from hunters, outfitters, and booking agents to show the court the damage the suspension of importation has already caused and will continue to cause. The statements from these members demonstrate the stories of the more than 130 members that wrote to SCI’s attorneys to explain just how important this issue is to the entire organization.

SCI requested that the Court schedule a hearing on its motion as soon as possible. The federal government has already informed SCI’s attorneys that they will oppose the preliminary injunction request. The government now has seven days to respond to SCI’s motion.

SCI filed its Complaint in this lawsuit on April 21st. We have and will continue to make every effort to obtain an expeditious reversal of this blow to hunting and to African elephant conservation.

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