Remember the recent 60 Minutes story that focused on animal rights activists and their efforts in Texas to shut down an industry that has created undeniable benefits for endangered species? Well, it looks like the activists have won a significant battle, given that effective wildlife management will likely go out the window due to exotic species receiving full protection under the Endangered Species Act. This led the Houston Chronicle to sharply criticize the activist group, Friends of Animals, in an editorial:
Last week, the organization won what some consider the decisive battle when the oryx, addax and dama gazelle received full protection under the federal Endangered Species Act. Ironically, that’s the bad news, according to those who’ve brought back the Texas populations. It could spell eventual extinction for the species in this state, they say.
Amazingly, that prospect doesn’t appear to faze the head of Friends of Animals, Priscilla Feral. Not in the least.
Feral would rather see the species become extinct in Texas than see a single animal killed in what she calls “canned hunts,” according to a recent report by the Chronicle’s Tony Freemantle (“Exotics face horns of dilemma,” Page A1, March 31).
Beg pardon, Ms. Feral, but your thinking strikes us as cruel and malicious folly. Simple-minded. Mean-spirited. Vindictive. Take your pick.
You seem to be saying that if these animals have to go extinct in order to be saved, then so be it.
That is outrageous. Denying ranchers and others the widely accepted wildlife management tool of culling herds when expanding populations exert unsustainable pressures on the land and resources because it offends one group’s misguided sensibilities is destructive nonsense.