Every year between July and November the Namibian government permits 85,000 baby fur seals who are still dependent on their mothers to be forcibly separated, herded into large groups and bludgeoned as their distraught mothers scream out and leap around in blind panic, helpless to save their screaming pups.
This horror is followed by 7,000 large bull seals being shot, purely to cut out their genitals, which are sold to Asian markets for false medicine. The enormous and once-magnificent bull seals are left laying in pools of their own blood along the coastline, which is transformed into killing fields. In 2012 it was found that Namibia also uses the penises from the baby seals as well, for fake Chinese aphrodisiacs.
Namibia says seals are “not animals” and consequently ‘not’ protected by Namibian Animal Protection laws prohibiting “animals” being beaten to death. Clubbing seals to death is not unlawful in Namibia, which is now responsible for the largest marine mammal slaughter on earth and the only country in the southern hemisphere still commercially slaughtering seals.
Sealers bludgeon baby seals with clubs and “hakapiks,” which are clubs with metal hooks on the end, then drag the conscious baby seals across the sand with boat hooks and toss dead and dying animals into heaps. Shocked pups vomit up their mothers’ milk onto the sand, as their clubbed and left alive, groaning in agony until some time later being stabbed in the chest. They are later skinned and their genitals cut out.
The Man Who Funds Seal Killings: Hatem Yavuz
Hatem Yavuz funds the Namibian seal “harvests” and the Canadian seal “harvests and is the Namibian Honorary Consul to Turkey, which has little to do with his fur trade but it shows his standing with the Namibian government.
Born in Turkey, his family moved to Australia and he holds residency between the 2 countries. Yavuz was instrumental in developing a market for Australian kangaroo skins, and as a result many soccer players are now wearing boots made from kangaroo skin. To read how Yavuz has decimated the Australian Kangaroo gene pool by slaughtering them faster than they can breed: Kangaroos: Hundreds Of Thousands Annually Slaughtered
Despite the current problematic scenario in Namibia , Yavuz is of the opinion that the market for local seal products can be expanded. Yavuz does not trade only in seal, but his factory also processes and sells various other boutique skins and furs as fashion items. He has recently received an offer to take over the American mink and otter trade as well.
Yavuz is considered and recognised as the number one boutique furrier in the world. He estimates his market share at about 85% of the segment. The amount of value added to seal skins as a fur product, is beyond belief. Seal skins come from seals harvested from the colonies along the Namibian coastline where the seal trade removes some 90,000 animals annually.
Animals Australia asks for help to pressure the Australian-based fur and skins company, Hatem Yavuz, that has been financially supporting this annual slaughter. As of 2008, Australian-based HATEM YAVUZ IS THE LAST REMAINING BUYER of these dead seal pup skins to make them into fur coats.
“Cape Fur Seals are directly related to the protected Fur Seals living on the southeast Australian coast and the Namibian Government has allowed 85,000 of these animals to be killed each year.”
“The market for Namibian Cape Fur Seal skins has collapsed over recent years due to lack of demand and import bans in the European Union, the United States, Mexico and South Africa because of the cruelty involved in the sealing methods.”
“There is international pressure on Hatem Yavuz to stop funding this cull. Please add your voice and express your outrage to Hatem Yavuz for their culpability in animal cruelty, and call on them to commit to never again buying Namibian Cape Fur Seal skins,” says Animal Australia. Click here for: Petition to Stop Seal Killing
Please feel free to email Hatem Yavuz at his Australian or Turkish companies.
Cape Fur seals are under threat from mass harvesting by government approved sealers, mass die-offs, continual deaths from entanglement in fishing gear, illegal shooting by fisherman, and bad fisheries management leading to scarcity of food.
Namibia’s Ministry of Fisheries says “seal harvesting” is necessary to protect fish stocks, even though local fisherman have exhausted the waters of fish, forcing many fishing companies to close their businesses. Protecting fish stocks is the same excuse used in Japan to justify killing dolphins in Taiji. The seal industry falsely claims a constant demand for more fur, of all types, makes sealing necessary.
Skeleton Coast, Namibia
Along the windswept coastline of Namibia, cape fur seals bask on the sand as tens of thousands of female seals give birth to their pups. Pups are unable to swim for their first 2 months of life and are dependant on suckling milk from their mother. Within days of giving birth, mother seals swim out into the ocean, sometimes for days before returning with food for their hungry pups.
While the mothers are searching for food, pups congregate together in large creche groups along the shore line. Because tens of thousands of pups are born in a short period of time, mother seals must quickly learn to identify their pups voice, to know which pup to feed.
BBC VIDEO - SKELETON COAST NAMIBIA - HAPPY
The recent colonisation of discarded fishing vessels, proves once again what a man-made shame it is, to force 80% of the seals to pup (give birth), on the mainland so that they can be slaughtered. Even where there is ample dry land seals prefer something resting on islands offshore.
“Seals Are Not Animals” Says Namibia Law
Namibia is one of the few countries within Africa which has conservation and environmental protection written into its constitution. Namibia’s own Animal Protection Act expressly forbids beating an animal to death. The authorities circumvent this by ‘not’ classifying seals as animals, therefore clubbing seals to death is not unlawful.
It is not about conservation, since there is solid scientific evidence that the Cape fur seal is being threatened by extinction (see CITES list of endangered species app II). The quota of pups to be ‘harvested’ now exceeds the number of pups alive on the first day of the ‘cull’.
Independent research has found that the seals do not adversely affect Namibia’s fisheries, and that fish numbers have declined due to human over fishing and bad management practices. South Africa stopped its seal culling in 1990 for the above reasons, and Namibia was advised by the Commission on Sealing to follow suit.
The Namibian Government has ignored all pleas, stating that it will not be prescribed to by anyone. Those employed hardly benefit, since they cannot even support their families. We are advocating the promotion of community-based, sustainable seal-viewing eco-tourism, which already yields 10 times the revenue generated by the sealing industry.
No Filming, No Photographs
The Ministry of Fisheries is strongly opposed to Namibia’s seal “harvest” beatings being filmed or photographed.
“Such a project constitutes a hostile and provocative act that we would not take lightly,” said Alfred Mbanga, spokesman of the Ministry to the General Newspaper. “Namibia has appropriate laws and institutions that will establish law and order again for this case.”
Mbanga recalls a meeting with Seal Alert and refuted the allegations and suspicions. “There is absolutely no reason for [animal protest organisations] to take lawless action against a country in the eye, which has all the reasons to harvest seals explained rationally,” said Mbanga. He reiterated that the seal hunting in Namibia would be carried out under existing laws for the sustainable use of resources.
Animal protest organisations considers beating the seals as “brutal, senseless and idiotic”. The Ministry of Fisheries set a quota of 85,000 pups and 6,000 bulls.
The assumption that clubbing several hundred baby seals is similar to hunting single independent seal’s from their mothers is incorrect. Canada, US, EU and Russia used in support of the Ombudsman’s findings banned the hunting of baby seals dependent on their mothers in the mid-1980s.
When firmly established large fishing companies are going out of business and selling their fleet vessels due to lack of availability of fish, how are seals expected to find fish to survive? If fishermen using advanced technology cannot locate enough fish to stay in business then seals are in trouble.
Fishing companies reduced the size of their holes in nets, and now catch anchovy instead, which are the building blocks of the entire marine food chain, when it collapses, and its already down to its last 1/4. Every marine creature dies.
Govts, Ministers and fishermen can go onto other careers and never be held responsible, whilst life in the seas vanishes. For seals its crisis, and endless struggle just to try and survive, even being forced to eat seabirds, even though they cant digest feathers. Penguins which eat the same fish as seals and are not harvested, have declined 90%.
Does Eating Seal Penises Boost A Man’s Libido?
In 1998 Susan Scott researched the use of seal penises. She uncovered shops in Toronto, Canada which specialised in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), were selling seal penises for $500.00 each. Each penis came with the tantalising promise “Seal penises will improve sexual function in men.”
Traditionally, a man is supposed to mix seal penis powder in wine and drink it. Some convenient potions come with seal penis already mixed in wine.
Alternate choices are to buy the bone (seal penises have a bone inside them) with preserved tissue on it or buy crosswise slices of the organ and grind up your own concoction. One recipe, named Three-Penis Wine, calls for dog, deer and seal penises.
When buying this product, people don’t know what they’re really getting. A team of Canadian scientists analysed DNA from supposed seal penises sold in Canada, the U.S and Asia. They found the real thing but also found penises of cattle, dogs, water buffalo and some protected species.
One DNA sample had an alarmingly close match to the African wild dog, a critically endangered species. Another from Hong Kong resembled the DNA of the protected Australian fur seal. Researchers found no scientific evidence that any species of penis boosts a man’s libido, in any way at all.
AfricaHunting.com is offering Namibian Seal Bow-Hunting packages where hunters get to kill seals with cross bows, even though seals are not on the official list of huntable game species in Namibia. Accompanied by a Park Ranger, the hunt takes place on the shore, where the ranger helps you make sure the bull will die on land.
When it comes to hunting a big bull Cape Fur Seal, AfricaHunting says it’s all in the timing. Fully grown bulls can weigh up to 360 kg (794 lb) at the beginning of the breeding season. They recommend killing big bull seals for a solid month, from the end of October to the end of November.
AfricaHunting says: “One thing no one can escape from is the overwhelming stench that impregnates every part of you, skin, hair, clothing, peoples eye tear and some even vomit, it is not an experience that is easily forgotten. Resulting from a combination of thousands of dead rotting seals, mostly newborn pups that have been crushed and excrement. The combination of heat, wind and the humidity coming off the sea blows the putrid smell straight into your soul.”
With the hunting permit in hand, hunters can export the Seal as a trophy, even though a CITES permit is required. This species is listed on Appendix II of the Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES). Appendix II lists species that are not necessarily now threatened with extinction but that may become so unless trade is closely controlled.
Seals Enjoy Human Company
Instead of bludgeoning baby seals and stabbing them to death, animal protestors are urging Namibia’s government to embrace it’s tourist market, utilising tourism and the natural acceptance fur seals have of humans (unless they are being threatened with violence) and the tourists enjoyment of photographing and filming up-close-and-personal encounters with wild seals.
The first video in not filmed in Namibia, but the antarctic seals in the video are closely related to the cape seal species and shows how naturally friendly and welcoming seals can be when treated with respect.
There are many recorded instances where wild cape seals jump into people’s boats and are happy to interact with humans, especially if the human has a fish for them.
This phenomenon has become a tourist attraction for thousands of tourists, as they gaze in amazement at the huge bull seal sitting quietly in-front of them, on the deck of the boat
You Can Help By Signing Petitions
Petition to Stop Seal Killings by Animals Australia, home of Australian-based seal slaughterer Hatem Yavuz.
Petitioning Versace, to stop Hatem Yavuz, seal slaughterer.
To read more how you can help the plight of Namibia’s seal crisis: Seal Alert-SA.
There is no excuse for anyone to buy fur clothing or fur products. Todays market has huge choices of magnificent man-made-fibre fabrics, which not only look good but are equally as warm for wear in cold climates. The world is moving toward 2015 and it is time for Namibia to take it’s blinders off and accept that Cape fur seals “are animals” and are therefore protected by Namibia’s already existing Wildlife Laws.
Please sign and share the petitions (above) for fur seals. They cannot keep being “harvested” at a rate faster than they breed without irreparable damage. Hatem Yavuz has already decimated the Australian Kangaroo’s gene pool; do not allow him to do the same to Africa’s bird and animal life.
Thank you for reading,
To read more of how Hatem Yavuz has damaged Australia’s Kangaroo population: Kangaroos: Hundreds Of Thousands Annually Slaughtered.
For more information about the use of dogs in traditional Chinese medicine: The Dog Meat Trade: Sex, Lies and Brutality and also SayNoToDogMeat.Net.