Full ESA Protections Restored for Three Endangered Antelope Species

Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published a final rule, which vindicated our clients’ 2009 victory in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that successfully overturned the Service’s unlawful attempt to grant blanket authorization to exotic wildlife ranches to breed and allow the canned hunting of three highly imperiled antelope species. The 2009 ruling found the Service’s action unlawful under the plain language of the Endangered Species Act, and today’s rule requires canned hunting operations to submit case-by-case permit applications to the Service to document whether and how their operations enhance the survival of the species before such entities can allow the endangered antelopes to be killed for profit. Such applications will be made available to the public for comment. The final rule can be found here.