Brett Barrouquere, Associated Press
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A federal judge has dismissed a challenge to Kentucky's ban on transporting deer and elk into the state, saying the lawsuit was premature because a state court has already struck down the law.
U.S. District Judge Danny Reeves today at least temporarily turned away a challenge to the law brought by the North American Deer Farmers Association.
Reeves, who is based in Frankfort, cited a ruling in April by McCracken Circuit Judge Craig Clymer that said the law was vague and therefore unconstitutional. Until there's a final appellate ruling on the law in state court, any federal challenge is untimely, Reeves said.
Reeves wrote that it's uncertain whether the law would be enforced if members tried to transport deer and elk along Kentucky roadways.
The dispute arose in September 2007 after officers from the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife arrested Timothy Cory Looper of Livingston, Tenn., as he passed west of Paducah with a load of elk and deer.
The animals were headed from Hostetler Wildlife Farms in Miller, Mo., and destined for a hunting lodge in Tennessee, but the state destroyed the animals.