Federal Appeals Court Revived Arizona Lead Ammunition Lawsuit
Jan 14, 2016 06:55 AM EST
Federal appeals court has revived a lawsuit. The lawsuit is challenging the use of lead hunting ammunition in Arizona's Kaibab National Forest.
According to Washington Times conservation groups the lead ammunition is killing endangered California condors in the region. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a subordinate court decision. It directed the case back down for further actions.
AZ Daily Sun said Tuesday the Center for Biological Diversity and other environmental groups had the lawful right to litigate the U.S. Forest Service over what they say is its disappointment to control spent lead ammunition in Kaibab. It was in 2012 when the lawsuit was first filed.
Verde News reported that a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that environmental groups have the legal right to test the let-down of the U.S. Forest Service to limit the usage of lead ammunition. The three-judge panel said the Center for Biological Diversity, the Sierra Club and the Grand Canyon Wildlands Council showed enough evidence for the lawsuit. They showed that endangered California condors are poisoned because of the lead ammo by hunters. In a brief opinion, the judges said that group members showed clearly how the condors are personally being harmed because of the use of the ammunition.
Forest Service refused to pass the ban on the law. They were defeated as the environmentalists won. The National Rifle Association was also defeated as they interceded in the case and denied that there was any damage to the condors from the ammunition.
The Tuesday's ruling does not force Forest Service to enact the ban but merely gives the environmentalists time to fix their case. The lawsuit was filed based on the fact that condors and other birds are scavengers, feeding on animals that have been shot with lead ammunition but are not recovered by hunters. The leads became the cause of death of 46 condors between 1996 and 2011.