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U.S. bans imports of bear rugs, trophies

The U.S. District Court recently ruled that importing polar bear trophies such as rugs into the United States is illegal, citing that their status as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, reports.

"The decision issued today is an important step towards protecting and defending polar bears," said Jeff Flocken, D.C. office director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare. "There is no reward that comes with these trophies and we are glad the Court has recognized this."

The passing of this ban is a "major conservation victory" for polar bears, which face threats related to global warming including melting sea ice, habitat degradation and loss and pollution, Flocken reports.

"The Endangered Species Act is the strongest tool we have to protect polar bears. As pro-trophy hunting organizations attempt to circumvent the laws designed to protect these species, it is important that we do everything in our power to ensure these safeguards remain intact," he said.

The ban first took effect in 2008, but was fought by polar bear hunters who hoped to lift it in order to bring trophies into the country. U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan held up the decision to ban the imports.  
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