The United States District Court ruled on March 29 in favor of the Humane Society in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) ruling concerning the import and export of wildlife. The organization filed a suit against the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and Safari Club International.
According to the ruling, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service must disclose wildlife trade data, including information on imports of species killed during trophy hunts. The ruling makes the information public and available to track trends in the wildlife trade, push to end harmful activities, and share relevant information with the concerned public.
“The Fish and Wildlife Service should have never removed access to this information and has been unlawfully withholding imperative data that impacts wildlife, conservation and global health. Transparency and justice prevailed this week,” said Laura Smythe, a staff attorney for the Humane Society of the United States, representing Humane Society International in an emailed statement. “The United States is the world’s largest importer of both legal and illegal wildlife parts and products, and it is critical that the public has access to the full picture of the role our country plays in this destructive industry.”
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