This video is a must watch from CBS on the economics of saving endangered species through hunting. Though a couple of the questions are a bit over the top (how do you kill something you love?), it’s overwhelmingly fair. And yes, the animal rights activist argues that she’d rather see a species struggle to survive than be raised in the United States and potentially hunted once the numbers are high enough.
The rule the mention that will basically slash the numbers of near-extinct animals to almost nil can be found here and has a bit of history to it. Consider this from the background information from the Fish & Wildlife Service:
With the exception of reintroduced animals, no sightings of the scimitar-horned oryx have been reported since the late 1980s. …
Based on a 2010 census of its members, the Exotic Wildlife Association (EWA) estimates there are 11,032 scimitar-horned oryx, 5,112 addax, and 894 dama gazelle on EWA member ranches.
Just on member ranches, there are more than 11,000 animals of a species that hasn’t been see on its original home turf in North Africa in 30 years. Yet, it’s not acceptable that these animals are raised and thrive in a new land according to an activist who purportedly wants the species to live.
I asked someone who knows animal issues and the federal government if this falls squarely on the Obama Administration. I was told yes and no. As it was explained to me, while the Fish & Wildlife Service was forced into the position by the courts, the Administration could have fixed the flaws in the original rule that allowed the hunts to take place. They didn’t, so now the hunts are ending.
As I’ve grown so fond of saying in recent years, elections have consequences. For these 11,000 scimitar-horned oryx, it’s pretty much a death sentence with possible extinction of the species. For hunters, it’s access to unique hunting opportunities where the profits will go back into recovering the species for future generations. For gun owners in general, well, it’s just another door closing on one the traditions for some in our community.