Francois Hugo of Seal Alert-SA (South Africa) says that one man, Hatem Yavuz, demands ransom for 90,000 Cape Fur Seals in Namibia. Yavuz has purchased the rights from the Namibian government to club these seals to death and has offered to sell away these rights for one year for an impossible 27.3 million Euro’s. If animal lovers can come up with the money, he says he won’t start the cull.
A million endangered seal pups get death sentence
Hugo reported this week to the Green Living Examiner that he understands that “the Namibian government has signed a 10 year contract with ‘King of Seal Killing‘ to supply Yavuz with a million endangered raw seal pup skins between over culling seasons until 2019. This number exceeds the total seal population today.”
According to Hugo, Hatem Yavuz asked Seal Alert-SA, to change from protecting seals in just Southern Africa, as there is not enough support for Africa’s seals, to protecting all seals globally, as he believes then, more money will be generated for his buyout.
Seal pelts used for jackets, although plans for human consumption are in the works
Yavuz hopes to score these millions of dollars from animal lovers through organizations like Peta, Seal Alert-SA, the Sea Shepherd , and other high-profile animal rights organizations. Yavuz demands have increased from $14,2 million US dollars to 27,3 million Euro’s because he has been getting media exposure from Discovery channel, Animal Planet and NatGeo. This exposure has increased the demand for his fur jackets and seal products, prompting him to invest further into two seal-meat processing plants in Namibia for human consumption and his newly appointed official diplomatic status by Namibia to Turkey last year, as his reasons for such an increase.
Hatem Yavuz, who lives in Australia, believes he will get his asking price, as anti-seal hunt organizations raise over $10 million US dollars each year in donations campaigning to end seal hunts. He said he would stop if he received 30 percent deposit, with the balance paid off in installments. He has asked for lower ransoms in previous years, but the monies have never been paid. The Seal pups have been clubbed to death while they lie on the beach. Yavuz admits he does not have the Namibian Minister of Fisheries approval to sell his rights as required by the Marine Resources Act of 2000, which prevents the rights of a million seals to be killed from being sold or traded without the Minister’s consent. Yavuz website declares raw fur operations in Turkey and Australia.
Seal-clubbing is not animal cruelty, because a seal is not an animal.
The Namibian SPCA says an application to the Swakopmund magistrate to obtain an order to end the cruelty in the annual seal pup cull of 85 000 seal pups in 2009 was denied because the magistrate found that under the Namibian Animal Prevention of Cruelty Act, “a seal is not an animal”, and as such denied granting such an order. The SPCA stated further legal opinions in Namibia have agreed with these findings, and cited lack of funds to pursue this further. (http://www.spcawindhoek.org.na/SPCA_position_statement_on_seals.pdf).
Tourism boycott may be in the works
While many organizations have raised money to fight the cull, no one has stopped the bloody beating deaths of baby seals. Hugo believes that the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society may be raising funds to organize and publicize a tourism boycott of Namibia. A marked decline in tourism and tourism dollars might garner the attention of the Namibian government.
If the cull continues, as it has in previous seasons, the pelts will net about 30,000 Euros. The pups will be beaten to death with a club made more lethal by the protrusion of a long nail.