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Wildlife Legal News

Our society created a legal system to resolve disputes and declare rights. While the system is designed to give humans an opportunity to be heard, it often neglects the lives of animals, especially wildlife.  Friends of Animals seeks to utilize and develop laws in a way that offers animals representation too. Wildlife legal news covers stories from around the world about how the law is being used, or abused, to control the fate of human-wildlife interactions. It also contains updates on cases that Friends of Animals is pursing. 

  • March 21, 2014--Courthouse News Service article "Budget Rider Pulls Plug on Antelope Protection" includes FoA lawsuit against the USFWS to protect endangered antelope from canned hunting ranches. 

  • March 14, 2014--FoA to defend snowy owls in court on August 1st.

  • March 5, 2014--FoA Files a Complaint Challenging Congress' Betrayal of African Antelope. Read our press release right here and read the full Complaint here. 

  • Jan. 28, 2014--In a blatant, underhanded attempt to undermine the protections of the Endangered Species Act for three species of African Antelope, Congressman John Cooper, R-TX attached a rider to the 2014 Omnibus Budget Bill (HR 3547) that authorized the sport-hunting of these beautiful, but very endangered animals on U.S. canned hunting ranches in Texas. FoA's legal team is currently working on a lawsuit to challenge this new law. You can read about the plight of these species here.

  • Jan. 28, 2014--FoA Wildlife Law Program has sent a letter to the members of Cottonwood Heights, UT City Council urging them to pass a ban on exotic pets in their city. After a lengthy dispute between a resident who had 29 "pet" exotic boa constrictors, the City is currently considering an ordinance to limit the number of exotic pets any resident may keep. But exotic animals, like snakes, birds, and reptiles are wild animals. The exotic pet trade of these species is decimating wild populations and the environment. Friends of Animals is working on several fronts to end this practice. You can read about our work here. You can read our comment letter to the City Council here

  • January 24, 2014-- FoA urges government to ban public exhibition of bears at roadside zoos, fairs and other venues; claims petition does not go far enough to prevent the exploitation of these animals for profit. You can read more right here

  • January 16, 2014: FoA's Wildlife Law Program is included in NPR segment about the USFWS's experimental killing of barred owls in a misguided attempt to save spotted owls. You can listen to the entire piece right here

  • January 10, 2014: Friends of Animals fights Bureau of Land Management’s devastating plan to wipe out nearly half of Wyoming's remaining wild horse population this summer. You can read the comments here.

  • January 8, 2014- Congressmen Question Costs, Mission of Wildlife Services Agency: The U.S. Department of Agriculture's inspector general will investigate a federal agency whose mission is to exterminate birds, coyotes, mountain lions and other animals that threaten the livelihoods of farmers and ranchers.

  • December 23, 2013 -- FoA filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit today against the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS).  Specifically, FoA challenges the failure of FWS to timely produce documents relating to FoA’s October 21 request seeking records pertaining to FWS’ processing of permit applications under Section 10(a)(1)(A) of the Endangered Species Act to allow for the take of endangered scimitar-horned oryx (Oryx dammah), addax (Addax nasomaculatus), and/or dama gazelle (Gazella dama) on U.S. hunting ranches. FoA asserts that these permits are undermining the chance for these species to recover in the wild.  You can read the FOIA lawsuit here.  Read more about FoA's work to end these canned hunts and protect African antelope here

  • Dec. 2, 2013 -- In response to a proposal to continue to use lethal and invasive methods on wildlife in the State of Wisconsin by the Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Service (which was recently exposed for its secret war on wildlife), FoA tells the agency it is time to incorporate ethics into wildlife policy.  Here is an excerpt from FoA's letter (you can read the full letter here):

    It is time for APHIS to recognize that the individual animals that are subject to [its management] have intrinsic value and this in turn demands that APHIS incorporate ethics into its consideration of wildlife management activities in Wisconsin. . . . Undoubtedly, discussions in the context of policy development about ethics and animals can make some people uncomfortable. But, of course, just a generation ago it was also unheard of for an agency like APHIS to incorporate the humane treatment of animals into its decision-making process. This has changed dramatically. Indeed, the Wisconsin EA contains a thorough review of the issue of humaneness and animal welfare concerns. Inclusion of this section allows federal, state, and local decision-makers, as well as the public, to better understand the impact of human MDM on animal welfare, and allows for better decisions to be made on the ground. Our generation [now] needs to adopt the same approach to educating decision-makers and the public as to the role of ethics in making [wildlife management] decisions. Indeed, it is our jobs as conservationists, animal advocates and scientists “to work toward public education and information dissemination to address real and perceived fears held” by others.

  • November 22, 2013--Animal People News writes a piece about FoA's legal suite against the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell for continuing to issue permits that allow hunters to kill ranch-raised scimitar-horned oryx,dama gazelle,  and addax. 

  • November 20, 2013 -- Incredible!  New species of shark discovered off east coast of the United States: the Carolina hammerhead.  Read about the discovery here.  Notably, FoA is currently petitioning the U.S. government to protect as endangered three other species of hammerheads that live off the U.S. east coast--the scalloped, smooth and great.

  • November 18, 2013-- FoA urges government to ban public exhibition of big cats, bears and non-human primate at roadside zoos, fairs and other venues; claims HSUS petition does not go far enough to prevent the exploitation of these animals for profit. You can read more right here.

  • October 31, 2013-- FoA hauls in rare victory for human-exploited sturgeon!  Human exploitation, including the caviar trade, is the single largest cause of the collapse of these ancient fish.  Read the full press release here.

  • October 21, 2013--FoA filed suit against FWS today over their failure to respond to petitions to list more than 40 species that are facing extinction due to human exploitation.  The complaint covers 10 sturgeon species, 11 tarantula species, 14 bat species, the Ridgeway and Flores hawks, and the Virgin Island coqui.  You can read the complaint here.

  • Friends of Animals co-sponsored a Citizen Wolf Hearing on October 16, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. Testimony on the proposal by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) was heard by an expert panel that included University of Denver law professors Frederico Cheever and Annecoos Wiersema. You can hear the testimony, which will be transcribed and sent to the FWS. 

  • Fighting an unethical Barred owl removal plan: Friends of Animals intends to fight the FWS on their unnecessary and unethical Record of Decision approving a Barred owl removal plan that once again extends the government's growing commitment to shooting animals as a misguided attempt to save them from extinction. 

  • Healthy Forests = Healthy Wildlife.  Greg Walcher, a former director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources and current principal of the corporate services company "Natural Resources Group," published an opinion piece that wrongly blames environmental and wildlife "activists" for catastrophic forest fires across the western United States. Perhaps he should have considered using his incredible influence to persuade forest agencies to stop allowing indiscriminate hunting and shooting within the forest, which oddly enough turns out to be a real culprit in wildfire ignition.

  • Wildlife Abuse -- Friends of Animals hopes to see justice served for man facing two counts of felony animal cruelty after brutally attacking raccoons in dumpster with nail-studded board.  

  • Wild Horse Chaos -- Free-roaming horses in Nevada rounded up by federal agents to make room for grazing cattle.

  • Some good news for wildlife!  Researchers identify a new species of carnivore is South America--first in 35 years!

  • A seemingly classic scenario in Alaska where the state sponsors an expensive aerial gunning and trapping assault on wolves to appease moose hunters knowing it’s all pointless.