It has just been discovered that Pakistan’s CITES export permit does not have a validation section or even space on its face for inclusion. Markhor have been imported from Pakistan for several years without incident but now that the US validation requirement is being enforced, markhor, one of the most costly trophies in the world, have been detained and are being seized.
One of the most celebrated and important conservation strategies in the world is in question for the time being until the section is added to their export permit form and until everyone in Pakistan is educated about what it is and how it is to be completed. It remains to be seen if the seizure can be mitigated since any irregularity converts the item to “contraband” that some USF&WS Solicitors are claiming cannot be returned to the owner. The enforcement now supersedes the importance of the underlying, lawful conservation strategy. The remission process may be an empty procedural promise. By the time you read this in July, we will have argued the constitutionality of forfeiting a costly trophy for a minor offense in two cases before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Those two cases will determine if hunters are protected from excessive forfeitures like other owners of property.