First For Hunters Blog

SCI Argues Zimbabwe Elephant Import Ban Case To Court Of Appeals

Oct 15, 2017

Safari Club International Litigation Counsel Doug Burdin has presented oral argument to the D.C. Circuit on SCI’s appeal of the dismissal of its challenge to the ban on elephant importation from Zimbabwe.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service abruptly and without notice to the public banned these imports on April 4, 2014.  SCI and the NRA immediately sued and gained some relief when a district court ruled that the ban did not begin until May 12, 2014, which will allow several hunters to import their trophies.

SCI/NRA appealed the dismissal of its other claims, including that the Service applied the wrong legal standards, that the decision was arbitrary and unsupported by the facts, and that the Service was required to conduct notice and comment rulemaking prior to adopting an across-the-board ban on imports.

The judge’s questions seemed most interested in SCI/NRA’s rulemaking argument.

Assisting in the preparation for argument and present at the hearing were SCI Litigation Counsel Jeremy Clare and Mike Jean of the NRA.

SCI/NRA now must await a decision from the three-judge panel.  While there is no deadline for the issuance of the ruling, the D.C. Circuit usually rules within three to six months.  SCI will keep members posted.

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