It has come to our attention that the government of Japan is considering a mass slaughter of SPOTTED SEALS. We believe the country has no justification for this slaughter. Already, Japan is facing a public relations nightmare since it was discovered that they had lied about the severity of the Fukushima threat, diverted funds from tsunami relief to bolster a barbaric whaling campaign and were feeding toxic mercury laden dolphin meat to school children in Taiji where 23 000 dolphins get slaughtered annually.
"The Seals Of Nam" has responded to this proposed slaughter by way of an open letter to the Japanese government. You are welcome to use our response as a template. Beneath our letter you will find a list of email addresses within the Japanese government that we have already contacted. We suggest you email the Japanese in batches so as to avoid any spam filters.
Date: 13 February 2012
Att: The Government of Japan
Subject: Proposed seal hunting in Hokkaido prefecture.
From: “The Seals Of Nam.”
To whom it may concern:
It is with shock, anger and dismay that our organization has learned of a proposed mass slaughter of spotted seals in the Hokkaido prefecture of Japan. It has been found the Prefectural authorities are to issue licences in the form of pest control, much the same way as dolphins are being slaughtered in Taiji. See article: http://vegansociety.jp/japan-to-start-seal-hunting-in-hokkaido/
Spotted seals are under severe threat from global warming. Oil and gas extraction in their habitat has resulted in disturbances and pollution been has been shown to have adversely affected their reproductive levels. They are at risk from entanglement, illegal hunting and habitat loss. Chemical pollutants and organochlorines such as DDT are also subjecting these creatures to risk. The species is protected in China, listed as nationally endangered and Japan has not hunted seals for some time.
No accurate peer reviewed population data on the species is available. Without any scientific backing, to enter into culling these beautiful animals based on unsubstantiated claims by a fishing industry, could prove to be the environmental equivalent of committing suicide.
The removal of a predator from any food chain has been scientifically proven to adversely affect the ecosystem. Furthermore, seals do not have a negative effect on fish stocks. This has been proven by way of a study on Grey seals in the Baltic. See relevant article here.
South Africa ended their seal culling industry in 1990. Well managed resources have shown positive growth and the seals have been found innocent.
Not only are international protests underway regarding Namibia’s annual seal hunt, but the country is facing consumer boycotts for the same reason. We can see this is affecting the countries tourism. Ethical Traveller excluded Namibia from its list of ethical destinations and the Namibian Dept of Tourism has released a statement that growth in the market is experiencing a slump.
A comprehensive report commissioned by the Humane Society, the World Society for the Protection of Animals, Bont Voor Dieren (NL) and Respect for Animals (UK) shows that seal viewing and ecotourism in Namibia can generate three hundred times more revenue than the slaughter. If we apply the same logic to Japan, we could expect the same results. Boat based dolphin viewing and swim with dolphin programs have shown to outrank dolphin slaughter in terms of revenue.
We also wish to draw your attention to the situation regarding the Canadian seal hunt. The USA, Mexico, The European Union and recently Russia have all banned the import of seal products based on the inherent cruelty involved. As a result, the market for pelts has dropped, the cost of a pelt plummeting from $125 to $18 in three years. The hunt is uneconomical. It requires constant financial bailouts from government and is a unwarranted drain on an already squeezed tax payers budget.
Drops in fish catches are caused by large scale environmental factors such as low oxygen water due to the el Nino effect as well as the man made problem of overfishing. Each October, the Namibian government close their fisheries to allow stocks to recover. The seals do not affect the recovery.
Japan is currently facing the onslaught of some nasty public relations debacles. To mention a few, the country deceived the public as to the extent of damage to the Fukushima nuclear plant. It was revealed funds destined for tsunami relief were allocated to prop up a barbaric whaling campaign against the conservation group Sea Shepherd and mercury laden dolphin meat from the slaughter of 23 000 dolphins in Taiji is being fed to school children. We question why the country would even consider getting involved in any further embarrassing situations.
In light of the above, and considering all the negative publicity surrounding seal hunting, we wish to inform the Japanese government that we condemn in the strongest of terms the proposed decision to hunt these spotted seals. We request that the government act immediately and decisively in preventing this proposed hunt from taking place. Not only are the global citizens appalled by the very notion, but any such hunt would be an insult and embarrassment to the good people of Japan and a mockery to the principals of conservation.
Should these seal hunts take place, we will have no option but to pull the international media spotlight onto Japan. We will portray the country in the worst possible light. We will institute our “Beach Master” campaign by sending volunteers to protest in much the same way as Sea Shepherd is doing with their “Cove Gurdians” in Taiji. We will partner with other organizations and we will attempt to isolate the country by way of consumer boycotts.
We trust you find the above in order and will debate with wise council. In anticipation of a favourable result we remain.
Below are the email addresses for various Japanese Government and media departments. We suggest you mail them in batches so as to avoid spam filters.
Email Addresses for Japanese Prefectures (Local Government).
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