By Tim Devaney – 06/27/16
The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is coming under scrutiny from a lawmaker over allegations that it gave trophy hunters permission to kill endangered animals like black rhinoceroses.
The FWS also gave circuses permission to mistreat endangered tigers and elephants, Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.) claimed in a letter sent Friday to the agency’s director, Daniel Ashe, that demanded an end to the practice.
Trophy hunters and circuses effectively purchase permits to harm the animals by sending money to conservation charities, Boyle wrote.
Boyle said he uncovered more than 1,300 cases over the last five years where the FWS granted these endangered species permits in exchange for payment.
“The FWS has issued permits to companies to use endangered tigers and elephants in traveling circuses, as well as to individuals whose only aim is to kill highly endangered rhinoceroses for sport,” Boyle wrote in the letter.
“In the case of trophy hunting, there is little evidence that killing individual animals or contributing money to groups that promote the practice help endangered species generally.”
The FWS’s issuance of these permits was exposed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), which brought it to Boyle’s attention.
“Our government has no business allowing trophy hunters, abusive circuses, and animal experimenters to cut a check and be handed a free pass to violate the Endangered Species Act,” said Brittany Peet, PETA’s director of captive animal law enforcement.