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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
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Animal Testing and Vivisection

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Clip I made for You-tube 


33 facts to consider.

1) Less than 2% of human illnesses (1.16%) are ever seen in animals. Over 98% never affect animals.

2) According to the former scientific executive of Huntingdon Life Sciences, animal tests and human results agree “5%-25% of the time.”

3) Among the hundreds of techniques available instead of animal experiments, cell culture toxicology methods give accuracy rates of 80-85%

4) 92% of drugs passed by animal tests immediately fail when first tried on humans because they’re useless, dangerous or both.

5) The two most common illnesses in the Western world are lung cancer from smoking and heart disease. Neither can be reproduced in lab animals.

6) A 2004 survey of doctors in the UK showed that 83% wanted a independent scientific evaluation of whether animal experiments had relevance to human patients. Less than 1 in 4 (21%) had more confidence in animal tests than in non-animal methods.

7) Rats are 37% effective in identifying what causes cancer to humans — less use than guessing. The experimenters said: “we would have been better off to have tossed a coin.”

8) Rodents are the animals almost always used in cancer research. They never get carcinomas, the human form of cancer, which affects membranes (eg lung cancer). Their sarcomas affect bone and connective tissue: the two are completely different.

9) The results from animal tests are routinely altered radically by diet, light, noise, temperature, lab staff and bedding. Bedding differences caused cancer rates of over 90% and almost zero in the same strain of mice at different labs.

10)Sex differences among lab animals can cause contradictory results. This does not correspond with humans.

11) 75% of side effects identified in animals never occur.

12) Over half of side effects cannot be detected in lab animals.

13) Vioxx was shown to protect the heart of mice, dogs, monkeys and other lab animals. It was linked to heart attacks and strokes in up to 139,000 humans.

14) Genetically modified animals are not like humans. The mdx mouse is supposed to have muscular dystrophy, but the muscles regenerate with no treatment.

15) GM animal the CF- mouse never gets fluid infections in the lungs — the cause of death for 95% of human cystic fibrosis patients.

16) In America, 106,000 deaths a year are attributed to reactions to medical drugs.

17) Each year 2.1 million Americans are hospitalised by medical treatment. 

18) In the UK an estimated 70,000 people are killed or severely disabled every year by unexpected reactions to drugs. All these drugs have passed animal tests.

19) In the UKs House Of Lords questions have been asked regarding why unexpected reactions to drugs (which passed animal tests) kill more people than cancer.

20) A German doctors’ congress concluded that 6% of fatal illnesses and 25% of organic illness are caused by medicines. All have been animal tested.

21) According to a thorough study, 88% of stillbirths are caused by drugs which passed animal tests.

22) 61% of birth defects were found to have the same cause.

23) 70% of drugs which cause human birth defects are safe in pregnant monkeys.

24) 78% of foetus-damaging chemicals can be detected by one non-animal test.

25) Thousands of safe products cause birth defects in lab animals — including water, several vitamins, vegetable oils, oxygen and drinking waters. Of more than 1000 substances dangerous in lab animals, over 97% are safe in humans.

26) One of the most common lifesaving operation (for ectopic pregnancies) was delayed 40 years by vivisection.

27) The great Dr Hadwen noted “had animal experiments been relied upon…humanity would have been robbed of this great blessing of anaesthesia.”

28) Aspirin fails animal tests, as do digitalis (heart drug), cancer drugs, insulin (which causes animal birth defects), penicillin and other safe medicines. They would be banned if vivisection were believed.

29) Blood transfusions were delayed 200 years by animal studies.

30) The polio vaccine was delayed 40 years by monkey tests.

31) 30 HIV vaccines, 33 spinal cord damage drugs, and over 700 treatments for stroke have been developed in animals. None work in humans.

32) Despite many Nobel prizes going to vivisectors, only 45% agree that animal experiments are crucial.

33) The Director of Research Defence Society, (which serves only to defend vivisection) was asked if medical progress could have been achieved without animal use. His written reply was “I am sure it could be.”

Animal Testing… the ugly truth

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Last year I began educating myself on the horrors of the fur industry. I was shocked and horrified at how naive I was to such blatant and wanton cruelty. Animals skinned alive, beaten to death…not one or two, but MILLIONS!!! This year I will continue to educate myself (and hopefully others too) & shall focus on animal testing, vivisection, cosmetic & pharmaceutical testing.

Tests include…Short-term Toxicity, Skin Penetration, Skin & Eye Irritancy, Skin Sensitization, Phototoxicity,  Mutagenicity, Carcinogenicity, Reproductive Toxicity, Teratogenicity, Photosensitisation, and Finished Product Testing. 



restraints used for Draize test

During another common test, the Draize Test, rabbits are put in full-body restraints while a substance is dripped or smeared into their eyes. They often scream in pain and many break their necks trying to get free. The Draize test has been proven in studies to “grossly over predicted the effects that could be seen in the human eye, and does not reflect the eye irritation hazard for man”

Results of Draize test

Here are some facts you might not have known with regards to animal testing.
94% of animal testing is done to determine the safety of cosmetics and household products leaving only 6% for medical research. Less than 2% of human illnesses (1.16%) are ever seen in animals.


US$5 Billion is spent on animal tests each year. This while people are starving!!



The results from animal experiments can be altered by factors such as diet and bedding. Bedding has been identified as giving cancer rates of over 90% and almost nil in the same strain of mice at different locations.


Despite many Nobel prizes being awarded to vivisectors, only 45% agree that animal experiments are crucial.

Up to 90% of animal test results are discarded as they are inapplicable to man.
95% of drugs passed by animal tests are immediately discarded as useless or dangerous to humans.

At least 50 drugs on the market cause cancer in laboratory animals. They are allowed because it is admitted the animal tests are not relevant.

When asked if they agreed that animal experiments can be misleading ‘because of anatomical and physiological differences between animals and humans’, 88% of doctors agreed.
Procter & Gamble used an artificial musk despite it failing the animal tests, i.e., causing tumours in mice. They said the animal test results were ‘of little relevance for humans’ yet they continue to test on animals. Attempts to sue the manufacturers of the drug Surgam failed due to the testimony of medical experts that: ‘data from animals could not be extrapolated safely to patients’. In the court case when the manufacturers of Thalidomide were being tried, they were acquitted after numerous experts agreed that animal tests could not be relied on for human medicine.
Blood transfusions were delayed 200 years because of animal studies, corneal transplants by 90 years.The lifesaving operation for ectopic pregnancies was delayed 40 years due to vivisection.

 Sex differences among laboratory animals can cause contradictory results. This does not correspond with humans.
According to animal tests, lemon juice is a deadly poison, but arsenic, hemlock and botulin are safeAspirin fails animal tests, as does digitalis (a heart drug), cancer treatments, insulin (causes animal birth defects), penicillin and other safe medicines. They would have been banned if vivisection were heeded!!

88% of stillbirths are caused by drugs which are passed as being safe in animal tests, according to a study in Germany.
61% of birth defects are caused by drugs passed safe in animal tests, according to the same study. Defect rates are 200 times post war levels.

A German doctors’ congress concluded that 6% of fatal illnesses and 25% of organic illness are caused by medicines. All have been animal tested. 
Over 200,000 medicines have been released, most of which are now withdrawn. According to the World Health Organisation, only 240 are ‘essential’.

Rodents are the animals almost always used in cancer research. They never get carcinomas, the human form of cancer, which affects membranes (e.g lung cancer). Their sarcomas affect bone and connecting tissue: the two cannot be compared

An estimated 83% of substances are metabolised by rats in a different way to humans.
Rats are only 37% effective in identifying what causes cancer in humans. Flipping a coin would be 50% accurate. 


The Director of Research Defence Society, (which exists to defend vivisection) was asked if medical progress could be acheived without animal use. His written reply was ‘I am sure it could be’.

33 animals die in laboratories each second worldwide; in the UK, one every four seconds. 9% of anaesthetised animals, intended to recover, die.


At least 450 methods exist with which we can replace animal experiments!


We live in a sick society. The Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw summed it up as saying “Vivisection is a social evil because if it advances human knowledge, it does so at the expense of human character.”


You can make a difference! Take a minute out of your schedule and sign the petition HERE