AUSTIN (AP) — A new federal law that took effect this week makes it easier to hunt endangered African antelope that are raised on Texas ranches and have become a lucrative market for breeders and others.
The measure introduced by U.S. Rep. John Carter, a Republican from Round Rock, eliminates two federal permits that once were required for three species of antelope in Texas. The total cost of the two permits was $700.
The antelope are native to North Africa where hunting and habitat loss have greatly diminished their numbers.
Carter says Texas ranchers now will be motivated to breed more antelope because they can profit from them through hunts.
Critics say there’s no scientific basis for claiming that hunting captive animals contributes to restoring wild populations.