IFAW to attend seal hunt stakeholder meeting with Namibian Ombudsman

Friday, September 16, 2011
Yarmouth Port, MA
The Ombudsman of Namibia has invited the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW www.ifaw.org) and other key stakeholders to a meeting in Namibia on 20 September 2011 to discuss the Namibian seal hunt.  IFAW is encouraged by the decision of Namibian Ombudsman John Walters to meet with concerned stakeholders on this issue.  

“The annual herding and clubbing to death of still-nursing seal pups in Namibia has been criticized by veterinarians and scientists around the world” said Sheryl Fink, Director of IFAW’s Seal Program.  

As the example of the Canadian seal hunt shows, setting high quotas for seals does not mean more jobs for sealers.  In addition, there is no evidence that seals are negatively affecting fish stocks. When scientists examined the effect of Cape fur seals on the South African hake fisheries in 1990, they found no scientific basis for reducing the number of seals, instead, they concluded that killing seals may have negative impacts on fish stocks.

There is strong evidence that seal watching, through ecotourism, offers far greater benefits to the both the economy and the people of Namibia than seal hunting ever will.  

“We are attending the stakeholder meeting in good faith that differing viewpoints will be considered, and we sincerely hope that this meeting will be a positive first step to working with the government of Namibia to bring an end to the seal slaughter.”

“South Africa is an example of a country that acted transparently and on the basis of scientific evidence and as a result ended their seal cull.” said Fink. “We strongly hope that Namibia will be next.”

“The Namibian seal hunt has been labeled as the cruelest hunt in the world.  This cruelty has to stop.  There is no humane way to kill seals, especially in Namibia where the terrain renders any attempt at humane killing impossible.  IFAW looks forward to presenting a solid case against the Namibian seal hunt, based on sound science and animal welfare principles,” said Jason Bell-Leask, Director, IFAW Southern Africa.

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Founded in 1969, IFAW saves animals in crisis around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

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