Would you believe that itís perfectly legal for a hunting operator to hold a canned hunt of endangered species here in Florida?  Double H Exotics, a hunting operator in Wellington, Florida, has asked the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for a permit to allow the hunting within its confined ranch of the Barasingha, a species of deer native to India and Nepal, and Arabian oryx, a white antelope with two straight, tapered horns (application number PRT-104266; to view the notice in the Federal Register, CLICK HERE). Both are endangered species.  Unfortunately, it is completely legal for hunt operators to breed endangered species and then allow them to be hunted in an enclosed area by trophy hunters.  The justification for this loophole in the Endangered Species Act is that some of the profit will be used in conservation efforts for the protection of endangered species.  However, there is no procedure in place to ensure that a set portion of the money paid for hunting actually goes towards conservation. 

The public comment period for the issuance of the permit ended 8/19/2005 and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Decision should make their decision soon.  However, there is still plenty that can be done to help protect these endangered species.  First of all, contact you state senator and representative and tell them that canned hunts must be made illegal in Florida!  Many other states have already outlawed these barbaric hunts.  Tell you state representatives that this issue must be given a priority when session starts this fall. 

Contact U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Gale Norton and tell her that it is absolutely unacceptable to allow the hunting of endangered animal, especially within a confined area preventing any chance of escape for the animal.  Tell her that the hunting of endangered species in no way assists in conservation and sends the wrong message to hunters.  Her reasoning, which allows hunting in the name of conservation, is severely flawed and the policy regarding canned hunts of endangered species must be rewritten immediately. 

Secretary Gale Norton
Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington DC 20240

Currently pending before the U.S. House and Senate is the Sportsmanship in Hunting Act (H.R. 1688 and S. 304), which would halt the interstate trafficking of endangered species for the purposes of canned hunts.  Please contact you federal Representative and Senators and urge them to support this necessary legislation.  For more information on this Act,

For more information on canned hunts,