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Save Shark Sunday

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Each year, 100 MILLION sharks are massacred for their fins. More often than not, the finning takes place at sea. The fins and tail are chopped off and the trunk is thrown overboard and the animal is left to drown. 

In some areas, shark populations have dropped by as much as 90%.1/3 of ALL shark species are facing extinction, many within our life time. Sharks play a critical role in maintaining the fragile balance in our worlds oceans. The fins do not add flavour to the soup, which is a type of chicken broth. Neither do they hold any nutritional value. The fins are added to provide texture.


YOU can help get shark-fin soup off the menu by signing THIS PETITION which I will personally deliver to the owners and management of Johannesburg restaurant Lai Lai Garden. 


Thanks 


Pat

NAMDEB

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For further info see The Seals of Nam website

T-shirts from The Seals of Nam

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Hey so check it out!
The folks at T. A. G Printing  have very kindly offered to print The Seals of Nam T-shirts at cost. So, we kicked it off with “design and win” type compo. Here are the first results to have been submitted. What do you reckon? If you would like to order, please refer to The Seals of Nam website for details.

Namibia. Seal cull facts.

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Tomorrow the annual slaughter of thousands of seals is set to begin in Namibia. I am getting a lot of people asking me the same questions and how to respond to various counter arguments. In order for you to understand the complexities, and to put the whole thing in perspective, I have put this note together. Please feel free to use, tag and share.
The Seals are eating the fish. Their numbers need to be controlled. 
What do you expect them to eat? Lettuce?
  • The seal population has dropped from over 2 million to less than 850 000. They are an endangered species, appearing on both Appendix II of CITES as well as on the IUCN Red List. They have a natural mortality rate of over 30% in the first few weeks of being born. 90% of their preferred habitats of small off shore islands have been wiped out in the last 60 years. They have suffered several mass die offs, the most recent being in 2006 where an estimated 350 000 seals died from starvation. This is the largest die off of any marine mammal in recorded history. Cape Fur Seals will normally breed every third year. By killing the baby at seven months, the seal cows will breed EVERY year. If the seals are eating the fish, why are they beating baby seals to death? These juveniles are still suckling from the teat and only begin to eat solids at around 12 months. Is it simply coincidence their soft pelts are more valuable??  
  • Since independence, the Namibian government increased its annual fishing harvest from 300 000 tons to 600 000 tons without doing any sustainability studies. At the time, the colony stood at well over million, and you can ask any avid fisherman, fish were PLENTIFUL in Namibia. The annual slaughter then killed 30 000 seals. Now, the population stands at 850 000 seals, there are no fish and they slaughter 91 000. This makes no sense. They are not doing this to protect fisheries. This is a blatant case of gross mismanagement of resources based on economic greed. When SA  ended our seal culling policy in 1990, our own fisheries were up in arms. But, SA fishing industry has seen nothing but positive growth.
The best way to control their numbers would be to end this slaughter immediately, give the seals the protection they deserve and allow the population to stabilise and recover. 
The Slaughter provides much needed employment and is an important industry for Govt revenue.
The slaughter of seals in Namibia is not an industry. It amounts to nothing more than a small business. If a pelt retails for $7 and the govt get $2 of that, the equation is simple. US$2 x 91 000 seals = $182 000. Grannies knitting circle can do better. 
  •  When the annual quota for slaughter stood at 30 000 seals, 160 people were involved in the clubbing. The quota now stands at 91 000 and only 81 people are SEASONALLY employed for 4 months of the year. They earn less than R50/day. (Around US$8 per day) A seal pelt sells for US$7 It takes 6 pelts to make a coat. These coats sell for US$30 000.00 The money goes to a foreign Turkish businessman who sucks the money OUT of Namibia so he can live the high life in Australia. There is no profit sharing scheme in place. The workers live in tin shacks in shanties in Henties Bay. They cannot even feed their families. Drug and alcohol abuse is rife. Domestic violence is common. Beating hundreds of baby animals to death each day is an assault on their human dignity. They have no recourse to stress and trauma councelling.
  • A medium sized hotel, with tours to the colony, sight seeing etc can employ as many as 1000 people. All year round. Niche markets can be developed for seal guano as fertilizer, conservation initiatives developed, skills training, job creation. Models based on eco-tourism show that 80 x more revenue can be generated with subsidary industries being developed. But no; Namibia will carry on violating its own laws to get a benefit of less than $200 000 in revenue.
Your decision to boycott has back fired. Namibia has now banned media from covering the cull and a boycott is unfair to the people of Namibia.
Backfired? Don’t be naive! This is an incredible VICTORY! 
  • Boycott was NOT our first option. We began this campaign by first looking into a broad spectrum of alternatives. We approached the Namibian SPCA and asked them to intervene. To our shock and horror, it turned out they do not believe a seal is an animal and they publicly condoned the cull. We turned to the Ministry of Fisheries. In the face of no scientific evidence, the Ministry blamed the mismanagement of their own resources of the seals. Respected organizations from around the world pleaded with the government, the Ministry of Fisheries, the Directorate of Environmental Affairs and the Department of Environment and Tourism. Francois Hugo met with the Prime Minister, campaigns got no-where. Individuals wrote letters to Namibian embassies around the world. Despite an EU ban on seal products, the seals continued to be slaughtered and journalists were getting beaten up and detained on non existent laws. After exhausting all possible angles, we found we were left with no other alternative but to institute an economic boycott.
  • Namibia are feeling the pressure. They have responded with a media ban. This is GREAT! I am absolutely thrilled! Firstly, it shows that the boycott is having an effect. It has got the Namibian Government to react. Now we have yet ANOTHER avenue to attack them with. Not only is this an animal rights issue, where Namibia are contravening their own animal protection act, this is also a human rights issue. Namibia are violating their media laws and the freedom of speech. It does not mean the media is out of the picture. On the contrary, by the very fact that Namibia has put this blanket ban on the media, more international media will demand to know what is going on. 
  • When South Africa was under Apartheid, we were hit with boycotts. This was done to generate media awareness and force a change in the status quo. Sadly people in South Africa were affected even though they did not support the government policy. While we regret this “collateral damage” we implore the citizens of Namibia to demand that the government change its seal culling policy with immediate effect. It is costing Namibia untold millions. It is tarnishing the reputation of a fantastic country and is crippling an already unstable economy. If change comes from within, the slaughter will be ended a lot sooner than from external pressure of foreigners. 
The slaughter of seals is about maintaining balance. It is a conservation initiative.
Get real!
  •  The removal of any apex predator from the food chain goes against all scietifically proven and internationally accepted conservation practices. The fact that hundreds of thousands of these animals are bludgeoned to death, even though they are endangered, is nothing short of foolish, iniquitous, barbaric and savage. CITES does allow for a sustainable harvest. The conditions to this are that the harvest falls under the juristiction of the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism. This is not a sustainable harvest. It is a commercial harvest, as the slaughter falls under the Department of Fisheries. Here AGAIN, Namibia are contravening their own laws. The juristiction of the Department of Fisheries is the off-shore islands, the sea, the sea bed up to the high water mark. Slaughter takes place on a reserve, 150 meters ABOVE the high water mark
Have you ever been to see the colony or witnessed the slaughter?
  • No. By the same token, one does not need to have survived Auschwitz in order to know German Nazi concentration camps were horrific, despicable and vile.
Your argument is flawed. It is based on emotional reasoning, not scientific fact.
The only people who have no scientific fact are the Namibian Government. Not a single publication of theirs in support of the slaughter has been acceptably peer reviewed using independent sources.
  • Please refer to the following links before you make such groundless accusations.  
SA Journal of Science 2010, 106(3/4),
I have tons of scientific information. Enough to fill 8 gigs. But there is only ONE piece of scientific information you need. Watch this clip and tell me if this is justifiable. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7EGV5Jw_V4 
For further information, please refer to The Seals of Nam website. https://sites.google.com/site/thesealsofnam/
Thanks

The Seals of Nam

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Ok. Been a while since I last blogged, with the past few days being extremely busy. My campaign “The Seals of Nam” has taken off quite nicely and much positive feedback from the website. News articles and blogs are starting to publish the horrors of the Namibian seal massacre (the largest slaughter of wildlife on earth) and many are joining me in the call to BOYCOTT NAMIBIA.


I am absolutely thrilled with the support I have got and need to make special mention of and thanks to BITE BACK in Belgium for staging protests outside the Namibian embassy, FUR FREE SA as well as well as BEAUTY WITHOUT CRUELTY and SASSI for all the tremendous effort they put in. The media campaign has turned into a major success with local South African celebrities lending their voices to the campaign.

Bite Back protest in Brussels

ANIMALS AUSTRALIA will be demonstrating in Brisbane and although Sea Shepherd are not a protest organization, our CEO Steve Roest has granted the South African chapter to stage protests later in the year. These will take place in Cape Town and Pretoria. I also hope to involve other international chapters so as to increase awareness to the plight of the Cape Fur Seals and add additional pressure on the Namibian government to end the slaughter. I would also like to thank Sea Shepherd in particular for publishing my article on their website and Facebook pages. The amount of awareness this has generated has been phenomenal. 
If you would like to know more about the campaign and how you can help, with links to petitions and who you can write to etc CLICK HERE
If you represent an organization and would like to join us in an official capacity, you can send us an email by clicking HERE 

This baby seal was savagely beaten. It then had its throat slit while it was still alive

Shocking Case of Cruelty

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Horror! Warning, graphic images!


This article first appeared in 2007. Investigations are still underway.

Very much alive. Not a hoax. 

Neal Rodgers of Vinemont, Alabama had two beagles and after hunting the previous weekend he allowed them to run loose in a rural part of Vinemont located on County Road 1428.
Sunday morning, when he went to feed his dogs, an alarming sight greeted him. His three year old beagle, Anne, showed up bleeding.
Initially he thought she may have been hit by a car but it only took a moment to realize the truth, someone had actually skinned her!
“I can’t imagine who would do this. I have had bird dogs for years and never had anything like this happen,” Neal said describing the skinning as the way a hunter would skin a deer.
Anne had her coat removed from the nape of the neck to the base of the tail and down to the nipple line, all of which was done while she was alive.
“It is inhumane and I just can’t imagine anyone doing that to a living creature. I am just flabbergasted. I think whoever did this should be tied up and skinned,” said Janet Rodgers, Neal’s wife.
Their second beagle, Buttercup, was also injured but thankfully escaped with just some minor lacerations around the neck and shoulders.
Reward offered for arrest and conviction
The Rodgers took both of their dogs to Bruce Lee’s veterinary clinic. Lee said in his more then 21 years as a vet, he’s never seen anything more gruesome.
“By far this is the most extreme case [of animal cruelty] I have ever seen,” Lee said. “I was not prepared for what I had to see. This was a totally awful sight.”
Due to the lack of skin available for grafts, Anne had to be euthanized.
“How can this be OK?” Lee said. “The only reason someone would do this is out of extreme torture. The amount of torture involved is incomprehensible. It is a brutal and hideous crime, and I hope I never have to see anything like it again.”
Janet Rodgers asked anyone with information to call the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office at 734-0342.
Sheriff Tyler Roden said the Sheriff’s Office is investigating the case and said more details will be made available when the investigation concludes. Roden said the act is a Class C Felony charge and carries a fine up to $5,000 and up to 10 years in prison.
To say that this story appalls me does not even begin to describe how I feel. Someone who could do something like this to an innocent and defenseless animal is a serious danger!!
More info on this story HERE.

Spain’s national broadcaster bans bullfighting

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MADRID – Spain’s leading broadcaster said Saturday it will no longer show the country’s centuries-old tradition of bullfighting in order to protect children from viewing violence.
Spain’s state network, RTVE, lists its new ban on transmitting bullfighting programs under a chapter called “Violence with animals” in its latest stylebook and says it “will not broadcast bullfighting.”
One of the reasons given by RTVE is that bullfights “generally coincide with hours protected or specially protected for young viewers.”
Karma
“Children can view violence exerted over animals with anxiety and we must therefore avoid it by all means,” the stylebook says. 
Spain has seen a fierce debate over the blood-soaked pageant that has fascinated artists and writers such as Goya, Hemingway and Pablo Picasso.
In July, the influential northeastern region of Catalonia became the second Spanish region to ban bullfighting, joining the Canary Islands, which outlawed the practice in 1991.
The broadcaster has not broadcast bullfighting in any of its programs for months, citing low audience ratings and budget problems over expensive outdoor locations shooting.

Now RTVE has confirmed it is slicing all links with an activity that many Spaniards revere as an art form while others consider a cruel and archaic blood sport with no place in modern society.
Karma
Bulls have been a potent symbol in Spain since prehistoric times, when early human settlers painted images of them on ancient cave walls such as those at Altamira — more than 13,000 years old — in the north of the country.
Every year 250,000 bulls die slow and torturous deaths as a result of the bullfighting industry. While many of us imagine the matador piercing the heart of the bull with one quick movement, in reality the bull is repeatedly stabbed, skewered and slowly weakened as it bleeds to death.
You can make a difference!! 
To sign the petition……. Click HERE

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