Euro report slams Namibia seal hunt

2008-01-10 00:00

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has found "unacceptable cruelty" in the Namibian seal hunt in its recently released report on the animal welfare aspects of seal hunting and has called for the annual hunt to stop.

"The extraordinary cruelty of the Namibian seal hunt has been recognised in this scientific report — the Namibian Government must end this abomination immediately," said Jason Bell-Leask, director of IFAW Southern Africa (International Fund for Animal Welfare).

The EFSA opinion concludes that seals should be recognised as sentient marine mammals that can experience pain, distress, fear, and other forms of suffering.

The Namibian seal hunt takes place near Cape Cross from July to November each year. In 2006, more than 77 000 seal pups were clubbed to death, while about 5 300 adult bulls were shot.

"This is a hunt that flies in the face of any acceptable animal welfare standards. It is a hunt of shame, conducted in secret without independent observers — this report puts a spotlight on the cruelty," said Bell-Leask.

The EFSA report was compiled at the request of the European Commission. EFSA assessed from an animal welfare perspective the scientific evidence about the different methods of killing and skinning seals

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