Target: Secretary of Namibia Ministry of Environment Dr. Shangula
Goal: To end the commercial hunting of cape fur seals in Namibia.
Namibia is one of the few remaining nations where the hunting of seals for commercial gain still occurs. The annual hunting quota there has been set at 85,000 pups (often as young as three months) and 7,000 adult bulls, devastating numbers.
The reality is however that the total number of seals killed may be even greater as Namibian authorities remain guarded and secretive about the hunt, unwilling to allow independent observation and recording.
These seals are hunted primarily for their skin which will be sold to international fur markets as well as their organs which have found a market in some regions as aphrodisiacs.
When this hunt occurs several hundred pups will be herded together and slaughtered in a short time frame– often just 1-2 hours. This usually occurs early in the morning so that they may be able to clear out before tourists arrive to visit the rookeries as part of the nation’s “ecotourism” ventures.
They arrive just after large numbers of the animals they have come to see were clubbed on the head and then pierced through the heart with blades as per Namibian guidelines regarding how to kill these animals.
Cape fur seals already suffer from wide population fluctuations in areas like Namibia due to poor environmental conditions and pollution. They cannot cope with the additional threat of large scale killing in the name of fashion.
Most nations that once figured prominently in the fur seal hunting industry such as South Africa have already realized that these animals deserve better and have banned the commercial hunting of fur seals. Namibia is the last bastion of carnage for these animals.
It is time for that to end. The nation already gains more financially from eco-tourism than it does seal hunts. The European Union prohibition of the trade of any products stemming from commercial seal slaughter just adds further incentive. There is no longer any reason to continue this atrocious act.
Dear Secretary Shangula,
The Namibian government continues to perpetuate the wholesale slaughter of cape for seals for commercial profit. This must come to an end. All other nations figuring heavily in the fur seal trade such as South Africa have already recognized that it is far better to protect these animals and have banned the commercial killing of them.
With Namibia as the last holdout it is time for the nation to emphasize its burgeoning eco-tourism industry and ban the commercial slaughter of these animals. Already that ecotourism industry far outweighs seals hunts in terms of gains for the national economy. Having an additional ecological platform to increase tourism flow will only serve to further boost revenue.
These animals do not deserve to be killed simply for the collection of their fur. The quotas of 85,000 seal pups and 7,000 seal bulls are terrible enough, but considering the reticence to allow independent verification that number may be drastically higher.
The threats from pollution and other environmental conditions alone cause seal populations in the region to fluctuate dramatically. The additional threat of these hunts may be enough to eventually drive the creatures away from the region entirely.
Should this happen both the tourism industry visiting seal rookeries and the commercial hunting industry will collapse. It makes far better sense to preserve one of these two sources of revenue then continue with both at the risk of losing them all.
I strongly urge you to join the list of nations who have banned the commercial killing of cape fur seals. For the rights of the animals as well as the betterment of the Namibian economy, ban this practice today.
[Your Name Will Go Here]