Animal rights group prepares death warrant for Texas exotic wildlife

By Mike Barnett

I am amazed that the inflexible ideology of an animal rights group could be the death warrant for the endangered species they profess to protect. That was the take home message for me from a 60 Minutes segment about the Texas exotic game industry.

Three species of antelope endangered or extinct in their native African homes—the scimitar horned oryx, the addax and the dama gazelle—are thriving here due to the efforts of Texas landowners who have found a steady source of income breeding these exotics for trophy hunts.

This is wrong, according to Priscilla Feral, president of Friends of Animals, an international animal rights group. She condemns the practice because she doesn’t want to see animals raised for game hunting. She doesn’t offer much of an alternative, other than saying they should be raised on game preserves in their native Africa—where poachers have driven them to the edge of extinction.

She poo-poos the efforts of the Texas exotic wildlife breeders, who have invested millions of dollars ensuring the survival of these endangered species. I won’t deny their incentive is profit. Then again, I find nothing wrong with profit. Consider the results. Texas is home to more than 250,000 exotic animals representing 125 species. About 10 percent of those animals are harvested annually. The other 90 percent perpetuate the herds—and more importantly, the species.

Friends of Animals has invested their dollars in legal battles which could undo the work done in Texas. Because of their efforts, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service will soon begin enforcing a rule that requires a strict federal permit to hunt these three species of antelope in the U.S., which has never been required before.

In other words, they will bundle the process of hunting in red tape, making permits virtually impossible to get. This means no hunters for the landowner. And no incentive to maintain strong Texas populations of these magnificent animals.

Charlie Seale, executive director of the Exotic Wildlife Association, estimated there would be half the numbers of these three species of antelope in five years.

“I would say in 10 years, there will be virtually none of them left.”

Which is just fine with Priscilla Feral. When the 60 Minutes reporter asked if she would rather the animals not exist at all, she replied:

“Not in Texas, no.”

Ideological fervor or illogical idiocy?

You tell me.

Photo © Jon Byers | Dreamstime.com

Mike Barnett

Director of Publications
Texas Farm Bureau
I’m a firm believer that farmers and ranchers will continue to meet the needs of a growing world population by employing equal measures of common sense, conservation and technology.
Follow Mike on Twitter and Facebook.

15 Responses to “Animal rights group prepares death warrant for Texas exotic wildlife”

  1. I couldn’t believe that being a "friend" of animals signs their extinction, but the guys that love them, are willing to preserve them. Seems rather clear to me. If only the Gov’t would understand this.

  2. The animal rights have introduced regulations for all animal practices including dog breeders. By painting all "large" breeders of dogs as deplorable places and greedy they have successfully passed a law in Texas with strict regulations that cover what they feel are large breeders but who are not in the business and in fact are private in-home breeders. They push these intrusive laws to discourage any breeding of any animals.

  3. Laurella Desborough says:

    The animal rights people do not care about extinction. They are simply interested in CONTROL. They want to control the right of people to keep, breed, exhibit or even conserve animals! These people have an agenda…to eliminate animal agriculture, to eliminate pets, to eliminate all animal use. Unfortunately, the general public does not recognize this agenda and often send money to those very organizations which are going to cause the extinction of wildlife…like the HSUS and Friends of Animals. Don’t be fooled by their names…check on what they really do. Spread the word, or more species will be lost due to these radicals.

  4. Why do the people of the great state of Texas keep letting these SOBs get away with pushing all these stupid laws. I am one of the small breeders, this breeder law would not have been passed if our so called politicians had listened to the people and not money. We need to stop letting these huge supposed "non profits" make our laws. Slowly but surely they are making their way thru the USA, they will destroy the agriculture and other such industries if we let them and their bleeding heart followers do so.

  5. Deborah, I understand there is an attempt in Congress to get this ruling overturned.

  6. I hope so

  7. Laurella Desborough says:

    Does anyone know which legislators are working on this? If so, there are ways we can get a lot of messages sent in support…I work on this legislative stuff. But, I need to know who is doing the work so I can contact that legislative office in DC and proceed to help.

  8. Let’s have Texas Farm Bureau et al, launch a counter attack by lobbying to protect the rights of not only breeders of exotic game animals, but those of us who produce gamebirds for shooting farms and ranches, as well as all livestock producers and individuals breeding pedigreed cats and dogs for pets.

  9. My wife and I got a kick from your call me Bubba and pass the pork . We moved to Kansas a few years back and have ran into a case of Elmer Fudds up here in a state with nothing to offer but regulations and lawsuit . I was talking to one of these types the other day out in front of our farm taking pictures . So I walked up and greeted her and asked if she would like to get a little closer to the livestock . She grinned and stated she was a Organic Vegan and only buys from the Kansas City farmer market .I laughed and told her we grow Organic Vegetables for our own use but wondered if she was aware that most of the local organic farmers around Kansas City on uses horse manure as far a livestock waste since it is easier to find than others and that organic Vegetable growers rely on a wide range of fertilisers and conditioners to improve the quality and composition of their soil. Wood ash, compost, seaweed, shell, horse manure, chicken droppings in addition to these we use “fish, blood and bone meal “. She got a look on her face as if she had just passed a rendering plant rolled her window up a speeded off as if on a new mission . I have thought back on this several times and have realized these people a mission . So maybe if the farmers and ranchers acted as they did in the 30’s and only produced enough for our own needs one year maybe they would all change to a new mission .

  10. The real problem I have with these people is that they mislead people to think they are using the donations to save abused animal . But instead spend the gradmothers donation who is just getting by to fund cases such as we just saw in the Supreme court . I bet if people ever were to look at what the percentage is spent on the animals them selves we cut get shut of this type of mission hungry type people .They are not going to change anything and these hunts are no different than a cattle producer and they are live– stock which are traded on the stock markets we call auctions and one day congress is going to have to grow some marbles and explain state cruelty laws and all laws which give states regulation rights over Commodity is a violation of the commerce clause since WICKARD v. FILBURN, congress has control agriculture even if does not move out of state .

  11. Illogical idiocy. These are the animal rights groups that need to become educated on conservation efforts and not base decisions on feelings. They are hurting conservation efforts by not educating themselves. Sigh….

  12. So what’s the point of “conserving” the species if the end goal is to breed, raise and let them roam while hunters shoot them for trophy? Somewhere Matthew Scully mentioned SCI members claimed they are helping/ conserving by shooting the elephant and this was more than 20 years ago. Let’s look at the elephant’s population now and see how the SCI and all the trophy hunters have done – sure, they are helping and educating wildlife conservation. I am so “glad”.

    • Normally, we might not usually post something this old and settled, but it provides yet another chance to showcase how clueless and misguided most animal rights positions are. Here you go – the 60 minutes reporter got the AR “spokesperson” to actually admit a preference for extinction over hunting. Really? That’s the argument you want to go with? Okay then.

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