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Time Lapse of Bob Barker Getting New Paint Job

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This is so cool. The Bob Barker is one of the ships on the Sea Shepherd fleet. She was used with great effect in the very successful campaign against the Japanese whaling fleet recently. Where do you reckon she will be deployed next? One can only wonder, but I guarantee you it will be good! If you would like to support Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, you can become an on-shore volunteer by mailing volunteer@seashepherd.org or you can make a donation by clicking on THIS LINK

The Namibian Seal Cull

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We all know about the Canadian Seal Cull. Disgusting, barbaric. But how many are aware of the Namibian seal cull? Do you know that the Namibian cull is the largest slaughter of its kind on the planet? It is considered to be the most brutal of all culls and is now officially responsible for the death of more seals than the Canadian cull.
terrified seals run for their lives

On the first of July, 85 000 suckling seal pups and a further 6 000 bulls will be killed in the annual cull. For the next 139 days, terrified pups will be rounded up, seperated from their mothers and be violently beaten to death. The colony will be rounded up at daybreak. Pups, bulls and mothers will surrounded and kept away from the safety of the sea. Men with clubs move in and the seals run in fear.

The babies vomit their milk up in fear

The sealers will cut the little ones throats, sometimes while they are still alive. The baby seals are known to be so terrified that they vomit up their mothers milk. The sand on the beach is stained pink from all the blood. Carcasses are thrown onto the back of waiting vehicles and the bull-dozers come in to clean up the beach before the tourists arrive to view the colony. 

There is not ONE animal charity that has an active campaign against this mindless slaughter. Not ONE! And each year, despite a declining population, the quota gets increased. But before I get into the quota, I want you to consider the following.
The cruelest of all culls
The Cape Fur Seal is listed on Appendix 2 of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. (CITES) This means that they are not yet threatened with extinction, but their survival is dependent on conservation. They have a natural mortality rate of around 30% within the first few weeks of being born. In Canada, sealing only begins after the pup is fully weaned and is self surviving. The Cape Fur Seal however, takes much longer to wean, up to 11 months. Clubbing begins when they are seven months old. Yes, still baby babies.
Bull-dozers clean up the beach 

Loss of habitat, the fishing industry and starvation are major threats to these animals. Between 1994 and 2000 some 300 thousand seals died from starvation. In 1993 the pup production was 164 248 with a sealing TAC quota of 50 850 – (31% of pups) In 2000 the pup production was 147 823 (90% of 1993) with a sealing TAC quota of 60 000 – (41% of pups). In 2006 the pup production was 107 910 (73% of 2000) with a sealing TAC quota of 85 000 – (79% of pups) What justification is there for the Namibian government to increase the quota from 31% to 79% considering the two mass die offs in between where between a third to a half of the population died of starvation? This amounts to a seal genocide! 

Hatem Yavuz
The ministry of fisheries claims it has on several occasions asked the public for a more humane method of culling. To date, no one has come up with a solution. The cull is driven by ONE man. Hatem Yavuz. He has the contract to buy every skin from the Namibian cull until 2019. He pays $7 per pelt while foreign tourists pay $12 to view the colony (after the bull-dozers have cleaned up the beach that is) His solution to the method of culling is, and I quote  “In order for them to feel less pain, they need to be killed with a club that has a nail in it.” Yavuz, who describes himself as an animal lover, is arrogant in the extreme. He wears a necklace made from the teeth of a white whale he killed. Dubbed “The King of the Cull” Yavuz jokes in an interview with Australia’s Seven News that he wears his crown with pride. He laughs at the interviewer and makes silly and snide comments the whole way through. Yavuz and his partner run their business “Hatem Yavuz Deri” from Sydney and apparently also have offices in Turkey, Russia and South Africa. Here is his e-mail address hatemyavuz@superonline.com Feel free to raise your concerns. 
But enough of that particular moron. I now wish to draw your attention to the hero of this story and not the villain. The Patron Saint of Cape Fur Seals is a South African who has fought tirelessly against this Namibian cull. Francois Hugo.  In 1999, Hugo established “Seal Alert-SA” as a “direct hands on organisation to address the imbalances, cruelty and abuse that has plagued this species for 600 years.” Paul Watson, co-founder of “Greenpeace” and founder of “Sea Shepherd Conservation Society” has this to say 
Francois Hugo
” One of the rarest things among people are those who have forged a bond with another species. It is such people that I admire and respect most for they have shaken loose the bonds of anthropcentrism and they have pierced that mysterious but familiar veil that separates us from the other wondrous species that share this incredible planet with us. Francois Hugo is one such person whose profound love for the Cape fur seals manifests itself in a raging passion that  fuels both his anger at the injustice done to the seals and his compassion to do all that he can to defend and protect the seals. Francois is a devoted shepherd to these marvolous creatures and he needs the assistance of every person who can muster up the compassion to support him. Here is a man who is not asking for anything but for people to join his plea to the government of South Africa to help protect and save his beloved seals.”
Francois, for all you have done and all you continue to do, I salute you. Though I cannot do much, I will do my damndest to raise awareness to the plight of these animals and let the world know about the atrocities being perpetrated against them. Thank you.  
If anyone who reads this would like to know more, or if you are able to assist Mr Hugo in any way please contact Seal Alert SA http://sealalertsa.wordpress.com/ 

Partial suspension of EU ban on Fur

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EU partially suspends ban on seal products
By Toby Vogel

Ban on most seal products takes effect today, but EU court gives Inuit groups extra time to submit a full legal challenge.The European Union’s highest court has partially suspended an EU ban on the import of seal products in order to allow opponents of the ban to present their case in writing.

The PARTIALl suspension of the ban, which came into force today, applies until 7 September and applies ONLY to groups who lodged a case with the European General Court. A number of companies are among the plaintiffs, but the principal challengers are seal hunters from native Inuit communities in Canada, Greenland and Norway. The BAN REMAINS IN PLACE FOR ALL OTHER HUNTERS and means that almost all seal products are, from today, BARRED from the EU.

A spokes person for the European Commission said that an oral hearing, to be held soon after the 7 September deadline,would determine whether the suspension would continue until the full case is heard. The legislation contains an exemption for products from seals hunted by Inuit, but Inuit groups are nonetheless opposed to the legislation, arguing that it would lead to the collapse of market prices.

Mary Simon, the president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, Canada’s main Inuit organisation and the lead plaintiff in the court action, welcomed the suspension by Luxembourg-based European General Court. “Although we are not sure what future action the EU court will take in this case, I welcome the current decision by the court to stop the implementation of the ban asscheduled,” she said in a statement. “I can only hope that the EU court will determine that the ban and its so-called Inuit exemption are illegal,” she stated. Simon, who also described the ban as “immoral”, calledfor the European Parliament, the chief supporter of the ban,”to do the right thing and withdraw its legislation”.

Canada, the country most affected by the ban, is also challenging the ban. Its prime minister, Stephen Harper,announced yesterday that his government would ask the World Trade Organization (WTO) to set up a dispute settlement panel to assess whether the EU’s import ban breaks WTO rules. Canada has already complained to the WTO that the ban violates the EU’s trade obligations. “This is flagrant discrimination against the Canadian seal industry, against Canadian sealers,” Harper said. Canada and the EU are conducting talks on a far-reaching free-trade agreement. The next round of negotiations is to take place in October, and agreement appears possible by next year.