Texas Canned-Hunting Ranch Lands Outdoor Channel in the Crosshairs

PETA Calls for Cancellation of ‘Deadliest Hunts’: Captive Endangered Animals Shot for Thrills at Jeff Rann’s Killing Field

For Immediate Release:
January 10, 2018

David Perle 202-483-7382

Hondo, Texas

This morning, PETA asked Outdoor Channel to stop airing Deadliest Hunts. The reason? The show’s host, notorious elephant killer Jeff Rann, owns 777 Ranch, a canned-hunting compound in Hondo that allows rich trophy hunters to pay to shoot endangered animals—and last year, he broke federal law by illegally selling a trophy hunt to kill an endangered deer.

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) prohibits killing protected animals for “sport,” making exceptions only in extremely rare circumstances that will directly help the species in the wild—but under its much-criticized “pay to play” scheme, the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has issued permits in exchange for token donations to phony conservation organizations. The FWS recently approved such a permit for 777 Ranch, which sought its sport-hunting permit on the basis that it donates 10 percent of the profits from each animal’s death to Conservation Force, a group that lobbies to protect hunters and helps them obtain the permits needed to breed and kill endangered animals.

“Allowing endangered animals to be slaughtered in order to raise money to protect hunters’ interests is like selling a child on the black market and ‘making amends’ by giving a percentage of the proceeds to a pedophile ring,” says PETA Foundation Vice President and Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “PETA is calling on Outdoor Channel to cut ties with this death profiteer, pull Deadliest Hunts from the airways immediately, and denounce any person or business that orchestrates the massacre of endangered species.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment or abuse in any other way”—notes that the FWS came under fire in November for using “pay to play” to reauthorize the imports of elephant “trophies” from Zimbabwe and Zambia. For years, the agency has been using the loophole to allow the exploitation and slaughter of the very animals it’s charged with protecting, including at dozens of canned-hunting facilities in Texas.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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