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Legislative Rider would Deregulate Canned Hunting for African Antelopes

July 25, 2012 | Hunting & Wildlife Management / Press Releases / Hunting Ranches
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25 July 2012

Advocates Urge Senate to Oppose Regressive Measure

Washington, DC -- WildEarth Guardians and Friends of Animals have called foul on Representative John Carter's (R-TX-31st) amendment to the House of Representatives' Interior Appropriations bill that would reinstate a discredited U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rule that allowed canned hunting of captive-bred African scimitar-horned oryx, addax, and dama gazelles. Representative Carter's amendment would also exempt reinstatement of the rule from further judicial review.

"Some people will throw thousands of dollars at canned hunting operations to procure an endangered animal," said Lee Hall, legal director for Friends of Animals. "And they don't want the federal government to have any say in it."

Tourist ranches, mostly in Texas, want to sell hunters the opportunity to kill captive-bred African antelopes in the United States. Until January 2012, they could do so without federal regulation. Although the oryx, addax, and gazelle have been listed as "endangered" under the Endangered Species Act since 2005, the original listing rule allowed landowners to continue offering "canned" (fenced in) hunting for antelopes to trophy seekers. That loophole was closed this year and now hunting operations must apply for a permit before killing members of three species of African antelopes in the U.S. The permits require applicants to demonstrate how hunting the animals furthers their conservation in the wild, but Representative Carter wants to waive the permit requirement by reinstating the old rule with the loophole.
 

"Ranchers claim that breeding and killing benefits these animals, but at the same time they don't want to be bothered to apply for a permit," continued Hall. "The 'shooting them to save them' rhetoric is nonsensical."

Notably, international travel to obtain the same antelope trophies in Africa has long been banned by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES). The U.S. may violate CITES by enacting the antelope rider. "The U.S. included foreign species listing in the Endangered Species Act to give CITES teeth, and now Congress is seeking exemptions to that provision 40 years later," said Mark Salvo, Wildlife Program Director for WildEarth Guardians. Hunting other captive-bred endangered species in the United States requires a permit, Salvo observed, adding, "Congress should not deprive the Fish and Wildlife Service of the means of evaluating the conservation value of these hunting ranches."

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ANTELOPES RIDER H.R. 6091, Sec. 423. Before the end of the 60-day period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the Interior shall reissue the final rule published on September 2, 2005 (70 Fed. Reg. 52310 et seq.) without regard to any other provision of statute or regulation that applies to issuance of such rule. Such reissuance (including this section) shall not be subject to judicial review.

AFRICAN ANTELOPES CONSERVATION TIMELINE In 2005 the federal government agreed with Friends of Animals that the oryx, addax, and dama gazelles are endangered, their numbers having plummeted in the deserts of North Africa over the past 50 years. The causes of decline include desertification, human encroachment, ranching, regional military activity, and hunting. Globally, more of these antelopes live in captivity than live free in the wild. Unfortunately, the same Endangered Species Act listing rule exempted domestic commercial hunting ranches from the requirement to obtain a permit prior to hunting these antelopes. In 2009, Friends of Animals and WildEarth Guardians successfully challenged the loophole as illegal under the Endangered Species Act. The federal court remanded the 2005 listing rule back to the Fish and Wildlife Service to close the loophole. In January 2012, the Service finally posted the revised rule that requires any person or entity under the jurisdiction of the U.S. to apply for a permit prior to offering hunting of the three antelopes in the U.S. Successful applicants must demonstrate how hunting (i.e., killing) the listed species contributes to their conservation in the wild.

WHAT YOU CAN DO The House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations has passed H.R. 6091 that includes the antelopes rider. The full House is expected to pass the bill and convey it to the Senate this summer. Please contact your U.S. Senators today at 202-224-3121 and urge them to OPPOSE the antelopes rider and all other anti-environmental riders on the House appropriations bill. Explain that the antelopes rider would needlessly deregulate domestic canned hunting for three African antelopes to the detriment of the species' conservation.

Comments

Please let's get this stopped. So called sport for violent individuals,for cash. NO.

Everything IS Bigger in Texas.... Need For Greed, 'Good ol Boys' Club, Inflated Egos of 'SELF' Importance, "?Endangered Species?'.... That means 'Not Many Left'...."Got To KILL Me One O' Those...Before Their ALL GONE!"....'Hip Pocket' Politicians...Who Will Write...RE-Write or Amend Legislation (LAWS That Apply To ALL) to 'Suit The Whims, Wants, Needs or Desire Of 'The FEW'... As A 'Favor'.... For Future Monetary...Or Political Gain. Air Heads. This has become MORE Prevalent..EVERYWHERE... But Everything IS Bigger in Texas.

Only idiot men like Rick Perry, Republican Governor of Texas would go to a place & literally walk up to an endangered wild AFRICAN animal that had been captive bred, making it used to idiot, stupid humans, then shoot & kill it for FUN. What kind of human does this to a beautiful, innocent, gentle, endangered animal? What kind of a human wants to put this kind of rider on legislation? The answer is a stupid Republican legislator from TEXAS named JOHN CARTER. VERY SCARY that Rick Perry who goes on canned kills was actually running for PRESIDENT of the USA. WOW!! These Texans are scary. Wouldn't want to live there.

We should unite together.

The fear, stress that animals have to endure is unconscionable at the hands of mankind. Those who murder the Creator's creatures as well as participate in the other animal sports are not Christian. This is not of God. This is purely demonic, barbaric without conscience, compassion, remorse -- only the thrill of the hunt to display a trophy of an innocent being

What kind of people can participate in canned hunting, or any other hunting? What kind of elected officials can encourage such depravity by making it legal? It's a matter of moral and spiritual vacuum - no wonder that atheism is on the rise in the US since according to Judeo/Christian values it's just fine to murder animals to satisfy bloodthirst!

Let's ban canned hunting completely!

Please support limited hunting of these species. Without a varied population, these species are doomed to extinction. I am a vegan but fully support these ranchers. They love their animals and only hunt less than 10% of any of their populations. They roam and live great lives on thousands of acres. To condemn them to extinction is what will be the outcome of regulatory action. Are you willing to do that and be responsible for their ultimate demise? Shame on you if you do. Friends of Animals comments: You may be a wanna-be vegan, but real vegans are against the exploitation of all animals -- get a dictionary. A "species" is not a flesh and blood animal, but an intellectual concept. Vegans strive to preserve and protect the lives of animals over both abstract ideas and from people calling themselves vegan..

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