American Deer and Wildlife Alliance Supports Rare Antelope

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The American Deer & Wildlife Alliance has announced its support of the Exotic Wildlife Association and its appeal of a ruling by Federal Judge Henry Kennedy Jr. of the U.S. District Court, Washington, DC that threatens the extinction of three rare antelope species which have prospered in the United States.

In July 2009, Judge Kennedy ruled that scimitar-horned oryx, dama gazelle and addax that are born and raised in the United States will no longer be exempted from their listing on the endangered species list. The ruling overturns a special rule put in place by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Department that allowed the three antelope species to be born, raised and freely traded in the United States without the USFWD permitting process.

As a result, ranchers who have owned and managed these animals for years will be required to cease all breeding, transport, culling or other management activities without explicit approval from the federal government.

"Private conservation has made a huge contribution to the worldwide preservation of these animals, but this ruling literally threatens the survival of these species," says John Meng, president of the American Deer & Wildlife Alliance. "The population growth of these animals while we've operated under the special ruling is dramatic and undeniable proof of the success of game ranches in managing these animals. But that success has only been because these animals have value during times in which the herd must be culled. If a rancher is required to get approval by the federal government to perform routine game management, then these animals will become a burden rather than an asset. No one will want them and their numbers will decline."

A perfect example of how successful the special rules exemption has been to the species' survival is the scimitar-horned oryx. While these animals are practically non-existent in the wild, there are currently thousands of these animals being cared for and raised on preserves and ranches across the country. In fact, breeding programs have become so successful that EWA members are now working to reintroduce the species into their native countries. But this effort will cease under the judge's ruling.

"The ruling by Judge Kennedy is nothing more than a death warrant on these three antelope species," adds Meng. "We strongly urge sportsmen and anyone who loves animals to join the EWA in its fight to save these animals."

The American Deer & Wildlife Alliance urges all sportsmen and wildlife enthusiasts to contact their federal representative and the EWA to voice their support for saving these magnificent animals. More importantly, please donate to the Save Exotic Wildlife Fund, call 830.367.7761, email saveanimals@exoticwildlifeassociation.com or visit http://www.exoticwildlifeassociation.com.

ADWA is a non-profit organization dedicated to growing the deer and wildlife industries through education and public awareness. ADWA works closely with companies, organizations, wildlife managers and professionals within the industry for the promotion and advancement of the industry as a whole. ADWA is also the title sponsor of Keith Warren's Deer & Wildlife Stories program that debuted earlier this year on the Outdoor Channel. In its youth activities, the American Deer & Wildlife Alliance works through the American Deer & Wildlife Foundation, a 501c(3) non-profit organization, to provide outdoor education to the youth and promote youth participation in the outdoors. The Foundation produces a youth publication, Spikes Magazine, hosts and sponsors youth educational classes and events, and organizes 'first' and affordable hunting opportunities.