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LA AG Files Lawsuit Challenging California's Law Prohibiting Importation and Sale of Alligator Products

Dec 16, 2019 11:28AM ● By News Desk
BATON ROUGE, LA - Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry’s Office has filed a federal lawsuit challenging a California Law that bans the importation and sale of alligator skins, meats, and other products derived from the reptile. The challenge was filed last night in the Eastern District of California on behalf of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the Louisiana Landowners Association, and the Delacroix Corporation.

“California’s law is in direct conflict with Federal Law and court precedent,” said General Landry. “What’s more: California’s regulatory scheme threatens jobs that thousands of families rely upon and it jeopardizes very successful conservation efforts.”

“We are taking this legal action to protect the incomes of working families, preserve the management and preservation of a critical species, and uphold the rule of law,” added General Landry. “If the California ban is allowed to go into effect - it would destroy the alligator industry and its jobs in Louisiana, Texas, Florida, Georgia, and California.”

General Landry’s lawsuit notes that the alligator trade is supported by conservationists, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Department of the Interior, and Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species experts.

California Penal Code Section 653o bans the importation, possession with intent to sell, and sale of all alligator products in the state of California. The alligator ban was originally enjoined in 1979 in Fouke Co. v. Brown with the court finding that the alligator ban is preempted by the Endangered Species Act; the Fouke injunction is still in force. Recognizing its legal defects, California repealed the alligator ban in 2006, subject to a sunset provision that is now set to expire on January 1, 2020. As the California Legislature has failed to extend the sunset provision, in the absence of court action, the law will go into effect on January 1, 2020.