First For Hunters Blog

Elephant Importation Ban Litigation Lumbers On

Apr 17, 2017

In 2014, SCI and NRA filed a lawsuit to challenge the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s April 4, 2014 suspension of the importation of sport-hunted elephants from Zimbabwe and Tanzania.  Early in the litigation, SCI/NRA defeated the FWS’s attempt to dismiss our Zimbabwe claims.  After the D.C. federal district court dismissed our Tanzania claims, SCI/NRA appealed.  In a very favorable ruling, the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit reversed and sent the case back to the district court for a review of the merits of the claims.  On April 7, 2017, SCI/NRA filed our opening brief on the merits in the district court.  Briefing will be complete in July. 

The Zimbabwe elephant importation ban lawsuit is moving separately through the courts.  On the merits of our challenge to the Zimbabwe ban, the district court ruled in SCI/NRA’s favor on one issue and against us on all other issues.  The favorable part of the ruling means that hunters who harvested an elephant in Zimbabwe between April 4 and May 11, 2014, can apply for and should be able to obtain an import permit for their elephant.  SCI/NRA have already heard from members who harvested elephants during this period and have been granted permits to bring their elephants home.

SCI/NRA continue to fight for to provide relief for other members harmed by the Zimbabwe importation ban.  We have appealed the claims in our Zimbabwe case on which we did not win and filed our opening appellate brief on April 17.  Briefing will be complete in late June.