Published: Thursday 15 May 1997

People in the US can now file a lawsuit seeking less protection for endangered species. The Supreme Court of the US recently ruled that people who have suffered economic harm could use the Endangered Species Act to file lawsuits accusing the federal government of having gone overboard to protect some species. The lawsuit was filed by farmers and ranchers from Oregon who had to sell their cattle and let their crops die as the government had cut off water supply to help preserve two endangered species of fish, the Lost River sucker and the short-nose sucker. The farmers and ranchers had consequently suffered damages worth around $75 million.

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