Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Activists ask fed court to stop more cougar trapping in NM

Animal protection groups are suing the state in federal court, trying to block a major expansion of cougar trapping they say would also illegally snag endangered Mexican wolves and jaguars. The lawsuit asks the U.S. District Court to rule that the expanded cougar trapping violates the federal Endangered Species Act and to prohibit state officials from implementing it. The animal protection groups – which have a similar challenge pending in state District Court – filed the federal lawsuit Monday against the Game Commission and the Department of Game and Fish. The department said in a statement that the lawsuit “is only a distraction.” “The rule was crafted after nearly a yearlong process of public and scientific scrutiny, including consideration of potential impacts on endangered species,” the statement said. “The department will vigorously defend the rule, which is part of a world-class effort to manage New Mexico’s wildlife.”...more

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