|Bloody Thursday deals first blow to Namibian seal cull|
|Thursday, 01 July 2010 09:37|
THE fate of thousands of nursing seal pups will be sealed today when clubs once again swing during the annual seal harvest until 15 November 2010.
As the sun rises at 06h32 on Namibia’s major seal colonies, dozens of club wielding sealers will start with what has been dubbed “the bloodiest, most savage seal hunt” in the world, according to Francois Hugo Seal Alert South Africa who is fighting tooth and nail to put a halt to seal culling.|
Speaking from Hout Bay in Cape Town, Hugo claimed that the Namibian Government has not yet released the 2010 quota and that the latest seal population figures to determine the cull, have also not been established.
“This is killing for the sake of killing,” he growled on the telephone. “There is no way to assess if this is sustainable harvesting as the Government says or if it’s a free for all that just goes on senselessly every year.”
Informanté was, however, informed by the Fisheries Permanent Secretary Ulitala Hiveluah yesterday afternoon that they have in fact not released the 2010 seal harvesting quota and are uncertain whether the figures will increase or decrease this year.
“We have not established the quota which is purely an administrative matter, which will be sorted out and released officially in due course,” she said. “The Ministry is also aware of the growing controversy around the Namibian seal culling procedure, and the bad publicity it attracts from around the world. But what I can say to that is that seals are a natural source which the Government is utilising,” she explained.
Hugo said the Ministry of Fisheries previously authorised its harvesting quota as 85,000 for nursing seal pups and 8 000 seal bulls and that Namibia is the only country in the world still using the cruellest seal culling method.
He further said that regulations and the conduct of the Minister are unlawful, by defying the Animal Protection Act, which applies to all wild and domestic animals. Being beaten to death is one of the misdemeanours.
“You cannot beat to death 85,000 nursing seal pups without it becoming a savage bloodthirsty killing spree and under no circumstances can any of this be done humanely,” said Hugo. “I have a top class Namibian advocate who after studying the regulations has declared the sealing unlawful and found grounds to take the Namibia Government to court.”
Hugo said he hopes the court case will eventually break this deadly cycle.
Seal Alert is supported by 50 animal rights and conservation organisations represented in 22 countries around the world that are behind the new legal application.
The SPCA’s viewpoint is that the seal cull is cruel and they have undertaken to try and monitor this year’s harvest.
“Seals are wildlife by the way,” stated Hugo. “And only a few privateers are really benefiting from the culling endeavours. The Government is being hoodwinked into believing that it is generating revenue for the country.
“They’d be surprised that if the killing spree stopped, Namibia would attract more tourists, especially those who flock to Cape Cross to enjoy the seals.”