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Federal court revives lawsuit about lead ammunition and condors

Posted: 6:05 PM, May 30, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-31 01:05:53Z
California condor AP Photo

WILLIAMS, AZ — A federal appeals court has revived a lawsuit challenging the use of lead ammunition in a northern Arizona forest.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling Thursday allows environmental groups to argue for banning the ammunition in the Kaibab National Forest.

Lead poisoning is the leading cause of death for endangered California condors that feed on animal carcasses.

The environmental groups say the Kaibab forest is not doing enough to regulate spent ammunition. Arizona encourages hunters to use non-lead ammunition but it's not required.

The case now goes back to the U.S. District Court in Arizona where it was first filed in 2012.

The 9th Circuit said the lower court improperly determined that it lacked jurisdiction in dismissing the complaint.

A Kaibab forest spokeswoman declined comment on the ruling.