Prevent Kangaroo Island Seal Cull

  • by: Judith B.
  • target: Hon Paul Caica MP, Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, South Australia

Once hunted to the very edge of extinction, the South Australian fur seals have made a comeback, notably on Kangaroo Island. In fact, the seal population has recovered so much that certain interests are pushing for a cull.

Arguments go that the seals pose a problem for fish farms, that they are threatening the fairy penguins of Kangaroo Island and, most dubious of all, that a seal "harvest" would be profitable.

The first argument is not an excuse to kill wild animals, if the second becomes substantiated by scientific evidence then the answer is sterilisation, not slaughter, and the third is complete nonsense. Even if profit were a valid motive, which it isn’t, the economic argument holds no water.  The infamous seal cull in Canada only survives because of government subsidies - the market for seal pelts has collapsed.

Ask the State government to continue to reject these dubious calls for a seal cull.

We the understand thank you for so far rejecting calls for a cull of the Kangaroo Island fur seals (Arctocephalus forsteri) and ask that you stand firm on this issue. There is no good argument for killing these seals, which have only recently recovered from overhunting in the past. 

Seals are an integral part of a balanced natural ecosystem. The arguments for culling animals such as deer - mainly the loss of large carnivores allowing populations to explode - do not apply to seals and there is no good reason for a cull. Australia has already felt the impact of deliberately interfering with natural ecosystems many times and should certainly not be rushing into misguided action again.

If scientists do find the seals constitute a serious threat to the fairy penguins, which is not yet proven, then the extreme measures needed would be sterilisation, not a cull. There is no valid commercial argument for a cull, least of all that a harvest would be economically viable. The market for seal pelts has collapsed, with the EU and now Russia banning their import. Further, protecting fish stocks involves sustainable fishing and a reduction of pollution, not the killing of natural predators.

Thank you for your attention.

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