Federal Court Upholds Protections For Endangered Antelopes

In a victory for animal protection and conservation groups and a blow to trophy hunting interest groups, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Friday upheld a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rule listing the Scimitar-Horned Oryx, the Addax, and the Dama Gazelle as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act.  Several organizations who advocate for trophy hunting and the ranches that supply animals for that purpose unsuccessfully challenged the agency’s listing decision in an attempt to eliminate federal and public oversight of these antelope species in U.S. canned hunting facilities where shooters pay top dollar to kill captive animals for trophies.  We intervened in the case on behalf of the Humane Society of the United States, Born Free USA, and Defenders of Wildlife, following another court victory that we obtained on behalf of the same coalition in 2009 in which the court struck down the Service’s attempt to exempt the antelope species from the ESA’s safeguards by issuing blanket permits for captive antelopes without subjecting them to public scrutiny.  The court’s opinion can be found here