9.5 million HSUS members
almost 4-Times the Population of Namibia
support Seal Alert-SA's Call
to End the Last Baby Seal Hunt on Earth




Seal Alert SA
July 30, 2006

Dear All Seal Supporters,
 
9.5 million HSUS members - almost 4-Times the Population of Namibia
support Seal Alert-SA's Call to End the Last Baby Seal Hunt on Earth 
 
Thanks to the courageous and determined work of Nikki Botha, HSUS has now joined the Seal Alert-SA Call to End the Namibian Genocide Hunt of its Baby Seals. (see attached letter)
 
Great great news. Please extend Seal Alert-SA's warmest welcome - welcome to end the Last Baby Seal Hunt in the World to HSUS and its 9.5 million members.
HSUS membership is almost 4 times the population of Namibia.
 
Please thank Dr Naomi Rose for her excellent letter and could you please forward her my email address so that we can ensure a "common approach" to ending this. I will fw this letter to the media and seal supporters.
 
As you know I have reported this to CITES. In 2002, Namibia exported 117 000 seal skins - without CITES approval (with their 2002 seal quota of 60 000). In the 20th Meeting of CITES Animal Committee in 2004 - it was decided to put Namibia on a possible "Review of Significant Trade" - this is 'Cites talk' for a ban on all wildlife trade. Dependent upon Namibia's reply.
 
As far as I can establish nothing further has happened between CITES and Namibia - hence my recent letter to them. Under appendix 2 specimens, CITES can only issue an export permit "if the specimen was legally obtained and if the export will not be detrimental to the survival of the species".
 
Based on the fact, that in 2000 (10% below pre-1993) and in 2006 (27% below pre-1993) these statements were made by the Minister Iyambo each time he increased the quota (30 000 to 60 000) 2000 and (65000 to 85 000) 2006 - inwhich the 2006 quota is now 68% higher than 1994, whilst the seal population is still 27% lower than pre-1993. The harvest is clearly not sustainable.
 
As he has repeatidly stated - "sealing is a sustainable utilization of a resource under the constitution" - the 2006 quota proves it is not, and therefore sealing must end immediately.
 
In addition as mentioned. 164 000 pups were born on the sealing colonies in 1993. Less 27%, in 2006 - gives a pup production of 119 000. Which from birth in November - July, would suffer a natural mortality of 30%. Leaving just at best come July 1 sealing season - 84 000 pups to harvest on a 2006 quota of 85 000. A baby seal pup genocide.
 
Considering further that sealers have been unable to fill the TAC seal quota since 1990 - ranging between 10% and 80%, is again indicative that for the past 16 years they have slaughtered every pup within these sealing colonies.
 
In addition the US seized 5000 skins in June 2002 and South Africa convicted an importer in 2003 - both these incidents involved illegally exported skins from Namibia. Based on these two arrests/convictions - the two sealing rights holders should be charged and convicted - this done, under the Namibian Marine Resources Act, they will then lose future rights to sealing and sealing should end.
 
In addition, this year in a Press Release, the Minister announced a moratorium on all new fishing rights - he listed 2 or the 3 current sealing rights end in 2007. This alone would end sealing. However we need to get Minister confirmation of this in writing.
 
Based on my calculations sealers have exceeded their TAC quota since 1992 - by 26% overall.
 
From the chart above, it is part of the conditions of their sealing permit, that the whole carcass is used. Past sealing involved discarding 63% of the weight of pups and 75% of the bulls. It is known sealers are exporting (seal-meal) to the pet food and livestock industry in South Africa (1300 tons p.a), as you can see that there is no export permit involved, nor is there any health safety certification required - these exports represent a considerable health risk to the livestock and pet-food industry. Bearing in mind, the disease confirmation in predating Jackals and Hyenas with rabies and distemper, and the mass death in 1988, 1994, 1995, 2000 and 2001 being recorded.
 
Jackals can carry rabies and their close family units plus their aggressive response to intruders means that rabies is easily spread through the Jackal population.  Jackals are responsible for a significant percentage (20-30%) of recorded rabies cases in Africa.  Jackals can also carry Canine Distemper Virus, and Canine parvovirus - diseases that also affect lions and African wild dogs, and which can be transmitted to domestic animals.  This risk of disease transmission is another reason why Jackals are disliked and persecuted by many farmers - taken from the Predator Conservation Trust.
 
As the EU has already banned Ostrich exports from South Africa due to a "bird-flu" outbreak - a similar request should be made to the EU, regarding the above.
 
With regard to De Beers, since the 1950's De Beers was prevented from trading directly with the US. In 2004, De Beers agreed to an Anti-Trust Settlement which involved a $10 million fine - in order to open the US market directly to De Beers and its own stores under its name. As the US MMPA has banned the imports of Cape fur seal skins since 1972 and confirmed by the US appeal court in 1977, together with the seizure in 2002 - these conditions present ideal conditions for HSUS 9.5 million members to voice their concerns with De Beers in US, considering further, all other sealing countries Canada, Greenland, Norway and Russia acknowledged and banned the "taking of nursing pups in nursing grounds" since 1987.
 
Just last week the Minister of Namibia acknowledged that pups aged 7 to 9 months are taken - and in 2000, in writing acknowledged that pups are still nursing at 10 months.
 
Please ask HSUS to let me know their considerations in this is.
 
For the Seals
Francois Hugo Seal Alert-SA