Stop this slaughter!

By admin
24 June 2011

Men carrying heavy wooden clubs surround a huddle of seal cubs. The adult cows, fearful for the safety of the cubs, bellow helplessly. Then blows rain down, smashing the cubs’ skulls. Hundreds die in the brutal slaughter.

Some are still alive as the men move among them, slitting bodies open with knives.

For decades this annual bloodbath has taken place in Namibia as up to 90 000 endangered Cape fur seals, most of them pups, are slaughtered.

Experts say the way they’re culled is brutal because they don’t die immediately – and the fact it happens to an endangered species makes it worse.

The claimed purpose of the cull is to protect Namibia’s fishing industry but the bad publicity it has generated could threaten the country’s much larger tourist industry.

The chorus of protest from celebs such as Paris Hilton, the band Red Hot Chili Peppers, actorsPierce BrosnanKim Basinger and Pamela Anderson and former Beatle Paul McCartney is making the world associate Namibia with gory brutality. And they’re demanding it be stopped.

Local celebrities are equally outraged.

‘‘This disregard for life must stop,’’ says musician Cito, lead vocalist of SA band Wonderboom and star of the musical Jesus Christ Superstar.

‘‘In SA we stopped this form of culling as far back as 1990. It’s high time Namibia did the same.’’

Supporting him are personalities such as adventurer Braam Malherbe of 50/50, jewellery designerJenna Clifford, singer Danny K, model Candice Brink and Miss SA 2010, Bokang Montjane.

‘‘I just can’t get the picture of a dead baby seal with mother’s milk streaming from its nose out of my mind,’’ says Nikki Botha of pressure group Fur Free SA.

She fears that the seal colony where the cull happens – the largest in Southern Africa – will be wiped out.

‘‘There is a huge difference between conservation and the slaughter of animals for profit but the Namibian government claims it’s doing it for conservation purposes.’’

Read the full article in YOU, 30 June 2011.

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