The Gross National Debt

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Canned and not the way you think


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Texas has banned high-fence enclosure hunts for some endangered animals.

Three species are most affected - dama gazelle, the addax and the scimitar-horned oryx.

Before you cheer this idea of banning hunting these animals, read this: "Texas has the largest population of the 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, according to the association."

Lemme clear this up. These "endangered animals" live on fenced enclosures in Texas specifically for the purpose of being hunted. Unless these animals can be hunted, they will no longer exist in Texas.

If you eat meat, then you eat animals which are born, raised and live out what life they have on fenced enclosures.

The hunt preserve owners will not pay the feed bill for these animals. They'll either be shot illegally or illegally turned loose. Give them to zoos and such, you say? 
Animals in prison, I mean zoos.

"Only a few animal sanctuaries for such animals exist, and “they don't want 100; they want two or four,'' Bulkley said. The Exotic Wildlife Association plans to send about two dozen of the animals to a nature preserve in Senegal."

Without these preserves, these animals won't be around in these kinds of numbers. In some cases, the animals may go extinct except for a handful in zoos.

You may still object to the hunts. I ask what are you doing to build the animal's numbers?

“They are very prolific and had been valuable because a lot of people wanted to hunt them,'' Seale said. “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.''

Remember too, these hunt preserves are interested in provided trophy-class animals. That means they carefully manage the herd. Stocks are maintained with an eye toward herd health and quality genes. Trading breeding animals is common.
Who are you rooting for?

If any zoo or animal preserve wants some of these animals, the Texas hunt preserves are certainly willing to sell an animal or two, that being all the preserves want anyway.

I say the Texas ranchers have invested their money, time and other resources. While the animal may be endangered in the wild, it is not on the hunt preserves.

"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."

Some people also object to the idea of a canned hunt. When you factor in all the costs of going to Africa to hunt, killing the same animal in the United States in a fenced enclosure is much cheaper. The hunter still gets a trophy for his wall.

"But he shot it inside a fence," someone will complain.
Jurassic Park meets S. Georgia Redneck

"When it's on the wall, you don't know if I caught it with a worm (artificial lure) or a shiner (live bait)," said Lamar Browning many years ago as we discussed fishing. At issue was a wall hanger.

Lamar had caught a number of 10 pound + bass with live bait. My largest bass to date came on an artificial lure. It was 9.8 pounds and I hope Nancy Wooten still has the pictures of it somewhere because I never got a print. It was nearly as long as my leg.

Anyway, some fishing purists would object to catching a trophy bass with live bait. They'd claim it was not sporting enough.

But when its hanging on the wall, only you and whoever you fished with know what it was caught with.

The same applies to trophy animals, like the ones I have hanging on my wall. You, looking at the taxidermy, the skulls and the cutters (hog tusks) have no idea how I acquired all the animals. Only I know the tale behind all of them. I will tell you I killed every one that hangs on my walls. I killed them with various firearms.

Putting this to the lowest common denominator - if you are a human alive today, you bear some responsibility for the domestic animals  raised and slaughtered in captivity. You also bear some responsibility for animals in zoos and other enclosures around the world. What is the difference between an exotic animal raised on a hunting preserve and a cow raised in a pen?

The difference is who pulls the trigger and how much they pay to do it.

1 comment:

  1. I agree that animals raised for the express purpose of being hunted and killed (hopefully eaten or fed to something) is not an evil thing. The "Canned Hunts" I object to is where wild animals are captured then let loose in a very small enclosure so some hunter can shoot them safely from behind a fence. Seen way to many instances of that happening. Hunting is about feeding your family and sport. Shooting something that has no chance to escape from behind a safe barrier is not sport.

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