A federal court has passed up a case from hunting groups who alleged that the Interior Department was slow-walking its requests to take an animal off the Endangered Species List.

At issue before the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit was the status of the straight-horned markhor, a type of goat that lives in Pakistan.

Hunting groups wanted the Fish and Wildlife Service to downgrade the animal’s protection from endangered to merely “threatened,” a status with fewer federal protections.

In 1999 the agency said it would begin an initial review of the goat’s status, but it never released a one-year finding, as required by law.

An additional petition was sent to the agency asking it to review the status of the animal in 2010. The agency posted a finding on its review of that request last August and decided to down-grade the goat to “threatened” status.