New Lawsuit Challenges U.S. Export Of Approximately 80,000 Wild Animal Pelts Sold For The Fur Trade Every Year

The Center for Biological Diversity sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service last week over its program allowing the export of tens of thousands of wild animals trapped and killed for the international fur trade.

The Service’s program covers five “furbearing” species, including bobcats, river otters, wolves, lynx and brown bears, representing the deaths of about 80,000 individual animals annually in recent years.

“The United States exports a shocking number of animals trapped and killed for their fur each year,” Sarah Uhlemann, international program director at the Center said in a Press Release issued by the organization. “Trapping for the highly lucrative international fur trade is just plain cruel and reduces local populations of bobcats, river otters, lynx and other wildlife.”

The international fur market has boomed in recent years, largely driven by demand in China, Russia, and Europe, and resulted in increased killing and export of furbearing animals from the United States.

Because these five furbearer species are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, a treaty governing trade in imperiled wildlife, export from the United States must be strictly regulated.

However, trapping exceeds sustainable levels in some regions, and removing massive numbers of these top predators has ripple effects throughout the ecosystem. An unquantified number of foxes, beavers and other species also die in traps set for these furbearer species.

The new lawsuit targets the Fish and Wildlife Service for failing to fully consider all the environmental effects of its furbearer-export program, including at the state and local levels where wildlife impacts are most significant.

Ultimately the suit seeks to improve in the U.S. export program and reduce the number of animals killed and exported for their fur.

WAN looks forward to a time when that number is zero!

Various ways people can become involved in supporting The Center for Biological Diversity are noted Here!

Donations to the organization can be made Here!

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