Namibia, Africa shares land borders with four countries: Angola, South Africa, Zambia & Botswana. Sadly, it is considered to be responsible for the largest slaughter of marine mammals on earth and is considered to be the most brutal of all seal culls. It is also considered by scientists to be horrendously cruel.
Clubbing begins when the seal pups are still babies, approximately only seven months of age. These babies are still dependent on their mother's milk. (In Canada, sealing begins after the pup is fully weaned and self surviving, usually up to eleven months.)
Each year, an estimated 85,000 baby seals are killed in Namibia to make just a few dollars from their pelts. From July through to mid November, commercial hunters hire approximately 160 part-time workers to kill the seals. Most are pups between the ages of 7 & 11 months of age. The colony are rounded up at day break, they are surrounded by the hunters and kept away from the safety of the sea. Men with clubs move in and the seals try to escape in fear. The terrified pups have no escape, separated from their mothers, they are violently beaten to death with pick handles for their fur pelts. A further estimated 6,000 adult bull seals will be shot at point blank range so that their genitalia can be used to make ineffective sex potions for the Asian markets. This fuels an illegal trade in animal body parts for fake medicines which are thought to be an aphrodisiac in some cultures. At 6:00am, the clubbing begins. The sand on the beach is awash with the red stain of their blood, the baby seals are known to become so terrified that they will vomit up their mother's milk. To kill the seal, the hunters are required to administer a swift blow to the head. This is supposed to cause the cranium to disintegrate. More often than not this initial strike is seldom sufficient to kill the seal and, as it tries to take evasive action, it is repeatedly beaten until it is either dead or unconscious. The sealer than will stab the pups in the throat, sometimes whilst still alive. Their mothers watching, calling to their babies in desperation. Carcasses are hurled onto the backs of waiting vehicles. At 9:00am the bulldozers set to work to clean up all signs of the massacre before the tourists arrive to view the colony. All of this happens in a designated seal reserve.
This cannot be allowed to continue. We may be too late to make an impact this year, but please, help stop this horror before next spring.
** Photo credit: PIXABAY
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