The Cruelest Mass Slaughter Of Wildlife On Earth
I wish to draw your attention to an event of unprecedented, diabolical cruelty currently taking place in Namibia.
80,000 Cape Fur seal pups, still nursing and dependent on their mother's teats, are being violently beaten to death with pick handles. A further 6,000 adult bull seals are scheduled to be shot at point blank range. The pups suffer this brutal death so that their fur pelts can be sold for a measly $7 dollars while the bulls are butchered so that their genitals can be used to make ineffective sex tonics for a seedy Asian adult entertainment market.
In 2011, leading conservation and welfare organizations, among them Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, IFAW, Seal Alert SA, The Seals of Nam, WSPA and the NSPCA, met with the country's ombudsman to discuss the legality of the methods used in the annual "harvest." After numerous protracted delays that smack of political interference, the ombudsman finally released a report on his findings. In this report, Adv. John Walters (the ombudsman) ruled that a seal is NOT an animal (because it is a wild animal) and is thus not subject to any protections afforded by the Animal Protection Act. The ombudsman also made several recommendations to the government regarding the hunt, none of which have been implemented.
The Namibian government claims the commercial seal hunt is done out of necessity and is a form of population control practiced in order to protect the country's fishing resources. Since gaining independence in 1990, Namibia increased its annual fisheries harvest from 300,000 to 600,000 tons. There are no publicly available records to show that an impact assessment was undertaken to warrant such a drastic increase.
The Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources for Namibia, Bernard Esau, regularly ignores the advice of his own government scientists and allocates quotas way in excess of those recommended. He also invites with open arms the Dirk Diederik (a super trawler banned from several countries) to plunder the country's fisheries resources.
In December of 2013, the Namibian Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources sent out a press release acknowledging increased seal mortality rates along the Namibian coast. This was corroborated by independent eyewitness accounts and reports of several thousand seals found dead along the beaches. Just three months later, in March of 2014, the Namibian media quoted Bernard Esau as "considering war on seals." One would expect a responsible minister to at least suspend the hunt based on the uncertainty principle rather than resorting to kicking a dog when it is down.
The Cape Fur seal is a threatened species and is listed on Appendix II of CITES (UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) These animals have lost more than 90 % of preferred habitat and have suffered from several major mass die offs, the last of which wiped out one third of the total population. This is the largest mass die off of any marine mammal in recorded history. Global warming, overfishing and loss of habitat play a major role in their future survival.
In light of the above, and aside from other dubious "conservation" practices (which include issuing hunting permits for rare desert elephants) I hereby pledge my support for a boycott of all sport, produce and tourism of Namibia until such stage as the seal massacre is permanently ended.