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Georgia Aquarium’s Request to Import Russian Beluga Whales Denied

A federal court has upheld the National Marine Fisheries Service decision to deny Georgia Aquarium's request to import 18 wild-caught beluga whales from Russia. The Humane Society of the United States filed an amicus brief in the case, along with Defenders of Wildlife.  Jonathan Lovvorn, chief counsel for animal protection litigation at The HSUS said:

“The court’s decision highlights the conservation and animal welfare impacts of capturing marine mammals and transporting them thousands of miles for lifetime display in tanks.  The Marine Mammal Protection Act was designed specifically to prevent the frivolous use of these creatures, and we applaud the Court for recognizing that the government must exercise precaution in its permitting decisions under that law.”

The HSUS and Defenders were represented by their in-house lawyers and attorneys from Schiff Hardin LLP.

Media Contact: Naseem Amini, namini@humanesociety.org, 240-778-5545