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Dallas Safari Club v. Bernhardt

ELR Citation: 50 ELR 20085
Nos. 19-cv-03696 (APM), (D.D.C., 04/09/2020) (Mehta, J.)

A district court denied a motion for a preliminary injunction in a challenge against FWS' failure to act on pending elephant trophy import permit applications. Hunting and tourism groups and elephant sport hunters sought an injunction requiring FWS to expeditiously process all pending and subsequently received applications for elephant import permits. The court found plaintiffs failed to show that FWS' inaction on the pending applications caused them irreparable harm sufficient to warrant an injunction, and that their substantial delay in seeking an injunction stood in contrast to the high bar they must clear to show such harm. It further found it particularly unwise and not in the public interest to order the expeditious processing of sport trophy permit applications at this time, given the unprecedented disruptions created by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Service's likely diminished capacity to process the applications. The court therefore denied plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction.