Jul 30 2012
Slaughter of Namibian Seals must be publicised!
Slaughter of Namibian Seals must be publicised!
I was so shocked to read that in the past 18 months, that there is a very brutal and cruel on-going annual seal massacre in Namibia, whereby up to 85,000 still nursing Cape Fur seal pups are separated from their mothers and bludgeoned to death on Namibia’s beaches, their skulls smashed with the equivalent of a blunt wooden pickaxe handle, in a commercial harvest for their furs which are then sold abroad that I decided to reprint the information in my latest BLOG. 6,000 adult bulls are also killed so their genitals can be sent to the Far East, to be used to make fake aphrodisiac medicines. More seals are now actually killed in Namibia than in Canada, making it officially, the largest (and cruellest) slaughter of marine mammals in the World. The sale of bull genitals to the Far East, is also adding fuel to the illegal trade in animal body parts for fake medicines, which includes the illegal poaching of endangered rhino, tigers and other wild animals.
The seal pups are cruelly beaten to death with blunt wooden clubs, and video shows some even escape the sealers, already wounded, to later most likely die a painful death on the beaches. The bulls are shot. Much of this happens in the early hours of the morning at a nature reserve at Cape Cross, and the sand is raked over to hide the bloodstains before tourists are allowed in. Tourists who then unwittingly take photographs of the aftermath as souvenirs, photographs of traumatised and distressed seals, and lost and disorientated pups who are wandering around looking for their mothers.
It is claimed that Namibia is the only country in the world which still allows the brutal and violent clubbing to death of still nursing seal pups. Even Canada, Norway and Russia stopped this brutal practice due to the inherent inhumaneness of taking a nursing pup from its mother. Video and photographs show that dead pups have vomited milk in their terror while being beaten.
The Cape Fur seal is found only along the coasts of Angola, Namibia and South Africa, and due to centuries of sealing activities, has now lost 97% of the species natural island habitat, has been driven from the islands to form unnatural mainland colonies, and is currently listed as a threatened Appendix II species under CITES (the overseeing international body for trade in endangered species). This means that the species is already under threat from over-exploitation, yet the Namibian Government has removed all protection for this species, which was once covered by the Namibian Seabirds and Seals Protection Act, and now the seals are not covered by a single piece of protective legislation in Namibia.
In fact, the Cape Fur Seal is the only marine mammal which has been specifically excluded from Marine and Fisheries Legislation which is intended to protect marine mammals from harm and illegal capture and slaughter. So in Namibia, anyone at all can slaughter a seal, however cruelly they wish too, and not be prosecuted for it. In contrast, in South Africa, the Cape Fur Seal is recognised as a species under threat, and is afforded the legal protection the species needs. In fact it has come to light now via the Namibian Ombudsman himself, that Namibia has NO legislative protection to protect any wild animal at all from cruelty.
Recently, a single lone tourist attempted to enter the Country entirely legally, having already announced his intention to photograph the seal colonies before culling started this year. He was arrested on entry to the Country by police and army personnel, was searched and had his vehicle emptied of all contents and searched, then was refused entry under threat of a $20,000 Namibian dollar fine if he ever tried to enter the Country again. Namibia is enforcing a total ban on any attempts to document the slaughter, even to its own journalists. Last year it deployed army and navy throughout the 2011 slaughter period, to prevent any attempts to document and record the slaughter.
The Namibian Government has shown itself to be unreasonable towards anyone expressing concerns about the seal slaughter, to the extent of banning entry to Namibia itself. It claims that the seals are eating all the fish so need to be controlled, yet it has been shown that the entire seal population of Namibia would now fit on a single tiny island just off the coast of Namibia. Possession Island is Namibia’s largest 90ha in size. The total Cape fur seal population (SA and Nam) islands and mainland could fit on extinct Seal Island in Luderitz. Seals are a pin-prick on a map in the economic fishing zone, but Namibia still tries to claim that the seal population needs controlling because seals are eating all the fish? The Namibian Government is clearly ashamed of this practice since it has resorted to such incredible lengths in attempting to keep the barbaric slaughter hidden from the outside world.
We cannot allow this to go on unpublicised!