85,000 Seal Pups to Be Clubbed to Death in Africa


Photo via Action Against Poisoning

Just as media coverage of the Canadian seal hunt seemed to be dying down, news comes that Namibia is kicking their hunting season into high gear--and this one seems especially cruel. The target of the hunt is 90,000 seals--85,000 of which will be young pups. And the Namibian's weapon of choice? Why, the club of course. Yes, Namibians will literally be clubbing 85,000 seal pups to death over the next few months.When I was a kid, I remember hearing some adult use the phrase 'clubbing a baby seal' to elicit laughter--so I chalked the idea up to being nothing but a joke from there on out: an example of the most egregiously evil sort of deed man could perpetrate on a helpless, not mention adorable, animal. Not something that actually happens. But then that darn cruel reality of the world pushes through at some point, and every young man must confront the fact that yes, we do after all bludgeon tiny baby animals to death with clubs--even now, in the 21st century.

So, on to the details: Namibia claims--and it's one of the most popular ways of justifying a mass seal hunt--that the seals need to be killed to limit their numbers in order to protect fish populations. Which even if true, doesn't exactly explain the whole bludgeoning baby animals with a club part.

Photos of Namibia's seal hunt are rare--it's kept under wraps in an attempt to avoid bad PR and the furor of tourists. Hence, we only have grainy photos like the one above to offer a glimpse into the atrocious practice.

As the AP notes, Namibia is one of the only remaining countries with a commercial seal hunt--Canada's another one. And despite claims of the need to protect fish stocks, the furs, skins, meat, and genitals are all sold for profit. The vast majority of seals killed are pups, too--which don't consume nearly as much fish as the adults do. Namibia has an estimated seal population of 850,000. Taking 90,000 of those every year can put a pretty serious strain on the seal population.

More on Seal Hunts
EU Votes to End Sale of Seal Products - Canada Not Happy
Seal Hunt Embarrassment To Be "More Humane"
Paul and Heather McCartney Visit Canadian Seals

Tags: Africa | Animals | Conservation

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