For African antelope in Africa, facing poaching and habitat encroachment, life is certainly tough enough. But due to their critically low numbers, it is illegal to hunt them in their Native Africa. In the United States, however, wealthy tourists can pay to hunt them on captive ranches.
What is unfortunate for these same African antelopes is that these protections have not applied to them in the United States -- until now. For numerous years, endangered African antelope have been held on captive hunting ranches in Texas, where hunters pay money to hunt these animals in fenced areas.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service authorized such hunting of these endangered antelope. But, after a decade of campaigning by animal rights groups, they have been listed as 'endangered' species in the US and will no longer be hunted in these horrific ranches.
We must thank the USFWS for finally coming to the right conclusion and encourage them to shut down all US trophy-hunting ranches.
We the undersigned are writing to thank you for your recent efforts around endangered African antelope protections in the US. By finally listing them as 'endangered' in the US and no longer allowing them to be hunted in US 'trophy hunting' ranches, you are doing a great service to the species.
However, at the same time, we are writing to express our extreme dismay regarding all of the other endangered species that continue to be hunted in the US. There is a reason that these animals have international protection and hunting them is not permitted in their native countries - and that is that their numbers are dwindling.
To say that the money from canned hunts goes to conservation is not a justification of the slaughter of endangered species. These are keystone species with value unto themselves and the USFWS is subverting its responsibilities by endorsing the killing of animals on the verge of extinction.
Please immediately end the inhumanity of captive animal ranches. It is not only unethical, it is just plain gruesome. Furthermore, reports have indicated that while these captive ranches claim the money is going toward conservation efforts for the species being hunted, this is rarely the case.
The purpose of these hunting arenas is clearly commercial gain and not conservation. Please take a stand, show that the US is better than this, and do something about it.