|Texas ban on hunting raised exotics bad news for endangered species
Idiocy in politics is not only found here in California, but all over the United States it appears, as more and more legislators who know nothing whatsoever about wildlife, and are more and more influenced by "feel good" maneuvers, take action on things they should leave well enough alone.
And it's looking like the animal rights movement is now pulling some influence with the current administration!
The most recent comes from Texas. As most know, huge Texas ranches, high-fenced and not high-fenced, have been raising exotic species from all over the world for decades now, creating herds large enough for hunting. In many cases, those exotic animals have become threatened or endangered in the wild. But not so where they live a protected life on huge Texas ranches.
In fact, many exotic species that have been nearly wiped out in their foreign lands flourish in Texas. And why were these herds brought there, maintained and kept at healthy population levels? So they could sell hunts, of course.
One would think that folks would be happy about having a sustainable, safe and flourishing population of rare animals alive and well somewhere. Even if a few are hunted. After all, the animals are privately owned, privately fed and maintained, and on private lands. And, they don't fall under state law, because they are not indigenous species.
But heck no! Just because the animals are hunted, some took offense, and now, believe it or not, the U.S. Government, under the Obama Administration, is giving these privately-owned animals full protection under the federal Endangered Species Act, bowing to the dictates of animal-rights groups!!!
The specific animals effected, that will not be allowed to be hunted or shot are the dama gazelle, the addax and the scimitar-horned oryx.
But check this out! Texas has the largest population of those animals in the world, far more than even their native Africa. In 1979, Texas had less than three dozen scimitar-horned oryx, just two addax and nine dama gazelles, according to the Exotic Wildlife Association. But by 2010, the state had more than 11,000 scimitar-horned oryx, about 5,100 addax and nearly 900 dama gazelles.
Why? Because they could be hunted, so ranchers could make a living. Now, what do you suppose those same ranchers are going to do? You guessed it, even before the law went into effect they had some major shooting programs on exactly those species. And if anyone thinks the ranchers are going be "taking care" of those species when they are effectively of no use to them, think again!
Of course, it's the nation's animal-rights groups that are behind this move. But wouldn't you think they would be in favor of ranches that propagate a rare species? Nope, they and the Obama Administration would rather let those herds wither away and fall into extinction than allow private landowners the right to sell hunts for their own raised animals. And don't think these are "canned hunts," most of these ranches are in the tens of thousands of acres, fenced or not!
The ranchers can apply for federal permits to continue the hunts, but most are refusing because they say it's government intrusion. Just 10 percent of ranchers have sought the permits. Others are so irate they've threatened to kill the herds or just set them free, but that may not happen because both options are illegal under the federal act, Seale said.
“They are very prolific and had been valuable because a lot of people wanted to hunt them,'' said one rancher. “We've built our herds with our own money, and we increased an extinct population, one of the biggest conservation efforts in the world. And now they're telling us we can't do it? It's ridiculous.'' Ranchers allowed just 10-15 percent of their herds to be killed each year.
Because trophy hunters have known that the hunting ban was approaching, they have flocked to Texas ranches in recent months, thinning the herds even more. But ranchers, even those with other exotic animals that are not affected by the rule, say they're left with few options. The herds are too expensive to feed without the hunting revenues, and obtaining a permit means the government can make unannounced inspections.
The rule will not only hurt the $1.3 billion exotic animal industry in Texas but will cause the scimitar-horned oryx population to be reduced to 1,000 in a decade, Seale said.
But that's just fine with the animal-rights groups. "The animals becoming extinct in Texas is better than what's been going on," said a spokesperson for one animal rights group.
And it's that kind of thinking, exactly, that is beginning to have a detrimental impact on all wildlife species nationwide. The animal-rights groups would rather have no wildlife at all than allow any to be hunted, despite the fact that it's sportsmen who fund almost all wildlife management programs, and provide much of the land that they live on.
The worst thing about all of this is not only government interference in the lives of private citizens, but from the federal government no less, coming into Texas to tell citizens of that state what they can and cannot do to make a living on their own property, with their own property.
Only in California? Not any longer, I'm afraid, as the left-leaning, "feel good" intellect that has ruled in California for decades has now spread to the nation, and even to the White House. For me, the election in November brings with it the "season of change."