01:48 - Source: CNN
US to allow some imports of elephant trophies
Washington CNN  — 

Several animal conservation groups are challenging in court the Trump administration’s recent decision to consider big game trophy import applications on a case-by-case basis.

The groups – which include the Center for Biological Diversity, Humane Society International and Humane Society of the United States – said Tuesday that they are asking a federal court in Washington, DC, to rule that the US Fish and Wildlife Service did not follow the proper process to make its March 1 decision, which withdrew a series of Endangered Species Act findings that apply to some African elephants, lions and bontebok, a type of antelope.

The groups also say the decision violates the Endangered Species Act.

Justice Department spokesman Wyn Hornbuckle told CNN that the department is reviewing the amendment complaint.

Tuesday’s filing amends a lawsuit the conservation groups filed in November, when the FWS, under Interior Department Secretary Ryan Zinke, announced it would accept applications on elephant trophy imports from Zimbabwe and Zambia.

In November, President Donald Trump then ordered that decision be blocked and called trophy hunting a “horror show.”

In December, a federal appeals court ruled in a separate trophy hunting case brought by proponents of the practice, including Safari Club International, ordering FWS and the Department of Interior to reconsider past decisions on trophy imports.

And a few days after the March 1 decision, Zinke told Congress no applications have been approved under the case-by-case guidelines.