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From the 1st of July, 80 thousand Cape Fur seal pups will be savagely beaten to death for their fur pelts. Six thousand bulls will be shot so that their penises may be used to make an ineffective aphrodisiac. For the next 139 days, terrified pups will be rounded up, separated from their mothers and be violently beaten to death. The colony will be rounded up at day break. Pups, bulls and cows will be surrounded and kept away from the safety of the sea. Men with clubs move in and the seals run in fear.
To kill the animal, the men need to administer a swift blow to the head. This is supposed to cause the cranium to disintegrate. This initial strike is seldom sufficient to kill the animal and, as it tries to take evasive action, it is repeatedly beaten until it is either dead or unconscious. The sealer then stabs the little ones in the throat, sometimes while they are still alive. The baby seals are known to become so terrified that they will vomit up their mothers milk. The sand on the beach is stained pink from all the blood. Carcasses are hurled onto the backs of waiting vehicles and the bulldozers set to work cleaning up the blood before the tourists arrive to view the colony.
Each year, despite mounting public outcry, the quota gets increased.
The Cape Fur Seal is listed on Appendix 2 of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. (CITES) This means that they are not yet threatened with extinction, but their survival is dependent on conservation. They have a natural mortality rate of around 30% within the first few weeks of being born. In Canada, sealing only begins after the pup is fully weaned and is self surviving. The Cape Fur Seal however, takes much longer to wean, up to 11 months. Clubbing begins when they are seven months old. Yes, still baby babies.
Loss of habitat, the fishing industry, disease and starvation are major threats to these animals. Between 1994 and 2000 some 300 thousand seals died from starvation. In 1993 the pup production was 164 248 with a sealing TAC quota of 50 850 - (31% of pups) In 2000 the pup production was 147 823 (90% of 1993) with a sealing TAC quota of 60 000 - (41% of pups). In 2006 the pup production was 107 910 (73% of 2000) with a sealing TAC quota of 85 000 - (79% of pups) What justification is there for the Namibian government to increase the quota from 31% to 79% considering the two mass die offs in between where between a third to a half of the population died of starvation? This amounts to a seal genocide!
The ministry of fisheries claims it has on several occasions asked the public for a more humane method of culling. To date, no one has come up with a solution. The cull is mostly driven by ONE man. Hatem Yavuz. He has the contract to buy every skin from the Namibian cull until 2019. He pays $7 per pelt while foreign tourists pay $12 to view the colony (after the bull-dozers have cleaned up the beach that is) His solution to the method of culling is:
"In order for them to feel less pain, they need to be killed with a club that has a nail in it.”
This highlights the mans ignorance. Namibian seals are NOT clubbed with a spiked club, but are savagely bludgeoned to death with pick handles.
Yavuz, who describes himself as an animal lover, is arrogant in the extreme. He wears a necklace made from the teeth of a white whale he killed. Dubbed "The King of the Cull" Yavuz jokes in an interview with Australia's Seven News that he wears his crown with pride. He laughs at the interviewer and makes silly and snide comments the whole way through. Yavuz and his partner run their business "Hatem Yavuz Deri" from Sydney and apparently also have offices in Turkey, Russia and South Africa. Here is his e-mail address E-mail : email@example.com Feel free to raise your concerns. Alternative contact details for Yavuz can be found on his website by clicking HERE.
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terrified young Cape Fur Seal attempts to hide for its life