The fight to keep the USFWS from releasing hunters’ personal information to an anti-hunting group isn’t over yet. Here are the latest updates.
Back in November, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had posted an official notice to individuals who had previously imported wildlife trophies into the United States that Humane Society International (HSI) had filed a Freedom of Information request for the identity and personal information of the importers and exporters.
As we detailed in an article, hunters subject to the release of information by FWS had the opportunity to object to the release of their personal information.
Well, the deadline to respond has come and gone and FWS was absolutely flooded with responses objecting to the release of their information. At the last count, 181 companies and 1,429 individuals provided written notice to USFWS telling the agency not to disclose information about them.
As of right now, FWS is evaluating the responses and deciding whether or not to disclose the information about those who imported hunting trophies to HSI. The agency estimates that it will make a final determination on what (if any) information it releases by the end of January 2017.
If FWS does indeed release data over the written objections of those who have imported wildlife trophies into the United States, the agency is required to first provide advance notice to those who objected. If it comes down to that, people should be notified by the end of February 2017 that the agency will be releasing their personal information to HSI.
Stay tuned for more updates.