July 1 marks the beginning of a killing spree. A minimum of 85,000 cape fur seal pups will be beaten and stabbed to death for their pelts in Namibia. A further 6,000 adult bull seals will also face slaughter so that their genitals can be used to make aphrodisiac potions for sale in Asia.
In preparation for the slaughter, colonies of seals are rounded up, and the pups are separated from their mothers. Cape fur seal pups will nurse from their mothers for up to 11 months, yet they can be slaughtered starting at 7 months old. It is not unusual for petrified young seals to vomit up their mother’s milk as they are surrounded and massacred.
The sealers club the seals with weapons such as pick-ax handles, and it often takes several blows to subdue the pups as they desperately scramble for their lives. The sealers then stab the young pups, who are sometimes still alive despite the beating they have received, in the throat. The pup’s bodies are then thrown onto the backs of waiting trucks so that bulldozers can get to work clearing the blood-drenched beach before tourists arrive to view the colony.
Currently, tourists pay US$12 to view the colony, while sealers are paid US$7 per skin. The possible value of a well-established, seal-based ecotourism venture has an estimated revenue of 300 times the seal slaughter, not to mention the employment opportunities it would create. However, even though the cape fur seal is a threatened species, with their survival dependent on conservation, their kill quota has increased annually.
A Sydney, Australia–based company called “Hatem Yavuz Deri,” which is run by Hatem Yavuz and his partner, has a contract to purchase the skin of every single seal slaughtered in Namibia until 2019. Hatem told Seven News, Australia, that he wears the title “The King of the Cull” with pride. This year, 85,000 terrified young cape fur seals face a horrific slaughter just to line the pockets of unscrupulous skin traders.
What You Can Do
- Pledge to be fur-free and always speak up when you see someone wearing fur. Every fur item required the barbaric death of animals to produce.
- Please sign and share the petition against the Namibian seal slaughter.
- E-mail the Namibian Ombudsman, Adv. John Walters, at [email protected], [email protected], and [email protected], and tell him that you are disappointed by the Namibian government’s support of this terrible trade.
- Contact Hatem Yavuz and express your disgust at his trade in animal skins.
- Contact your local Namibian embassy and ask officials to do everything in their power in behalf of these animals.
Posted by Claire Fryer