Lawsuit Demands Access to Public Records Concerning Wildlife Trade

The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), represented by Harvard Law School’s Animal Law & Policy Clinic, has sued the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) in the United States District Court for the District of Arizona under the federal Freedom of Information Act for refusing to release basic data about wildlife traded across U.S. borders. Despite previous court orders demanding that the agency release public records about the role of the U.S. in the wildlife trade (e.g., species’ names, import quantities, countries of origin, and names of importers and exporters), FWS has refused to produce any such records since 2016. CBD is seeking declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as attorney’s fees and immediate production of responsive records.