Keeping The Villains at Bay

Anti-hunters who attacic SCI, hunting and hunters are the true villains in the battle to protect sustainable use. That's why SCI has gone to court to prevent these haters from ob- taining information that they would likely use to harass members of the SCI community.

Humane Society International (HSI) - the international cousin of HSUS - submitted an official Freedom of Information Act request to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to obtain information about the importation of animals into the U.S. The FWS maintains information about the importation of live and dead animals, primarily for law enforcement purpos- es. HSI asked the FWS for all the information that the FWS had collected, for any and all animals, including hunting trophies, imported in 2013-2014 and possibly earlier. HSI particularly wanted the identities of U.S. importers and foreign exporters of those animals. They wanted it, but they did not get it. While the FWS provided some of the data HSI requested, it refused to release other critical information and HSI filed suit in federal court in Washington, D.C.

Why did HSI need the names of the importers and exporters? Not surprisingly, their justifica- tions were vague and extremely transparent. Their ulterior motives had nothing to do with species conservation. Instead, as demonstrated by the reports that HSI published in 2015 and 2016, all HSI really wanted to do was to publicly attack hunters by name and portray legal hunting and importing activities as ugly and evil.

SCI's Litigation Department moved quickly to intervene to defend the FWS's decision to with- hold the identities of hunters/importers. In our motion, we explained to the court how HSI has used similar information to harass SCI and its members in the past and how it is important for us to join the case to help protect our members from similar future attacks.

Even though SCI has not yet officially been granted the right to participate, our involvement has already given us important information to protect our members and the hunting/importing commu- nity. SCI has learned that the FWS intends to try to notify all individuals who imported animals in- to the U.S. in 2013-2014, and possibly as far back as 2001, that they have the opportunity to oppose the release of their information to HSI. It is important not to miss this golden opportunity.

If you imported a trophy into the U.S. during that period of time and don't want your personal information released, YOU WILL NEED TO RESPOND TO THE FWS! When the FWS makes the, announcement, you will have only 20 days to inform the FWS that you DO NOT WANT YOUR IDENTITY DISCLOSED! The FWS's announcement should be coming very soon.

SCI's Litigation Department is carefully monitoring the situation. When it is time to respond, we will send out an alert to all SCI members and, to the extent possible, others in the hunting communi- ty. Please watch your e-mails and SCI electronic publications for information about this important opportunity to protect your identity and privacy. Help us keep the anti-hunting villains at bay!

For any questions or feedback on litigation matters, please contact Anna Seidman at aseidman@safariclub.org, Doug Burdin at dburdin@safariclub.org, or Jeremy Clare at jclare@safariclub.org

Posted on August 30, 2016 .