Texas Ag Commissioner Supports Exotic Antelope Lawsuit
The Wilson County News reports Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples joined the Texas Attorney General Greg Abbot in filing an amicus brief in support of the Exotic Wildlife Association’s lawsuit against the U.S. Department of the Interior and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, requesting the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to allow private Texas landowners to manage three species of endangered African antelope – the Scimitar Horned Oryx, Addax, and Dama Gazelle. In 2005, Texas ranchers were given an exemption from the regulatory requirements of the Endangered Species Act. As a result of this exemption and favorable management by Texas ranchers, these animals, which are virtually extinct in their native Africa, number in the tens of thousands in Texas. If the court does not act, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will implement a new policy on April 4 that will require ranchers and hunters to undergo a complex and cumbersome permitting process to manage and hunt these exotic species in Texas.