[Canadian harp seal pup courtesy IFAW]
Friday, March 20, 2009
The Russian government granted the request of activists and organizations to stop the killing of harp seal pups (P. groenlandica). Canada remains the only major developed nation that still allows the slaughter of young harp seal for their white pelts. Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology Yuriy Trutnev announced the ban yesterday in Moscow. Public opposition to the harp seal hunt has increased with anti-hunting demonstrations taking place in Russian cities. Trutnev credited public pressure as contributing to the ban's passage. The slaughter was subsidized by the government and according to animal welfare activists there was little demand for pelts dyed black to make hats. The number of pups killed by Russian sealers in 1999 was 34,850. Smaller culls occur in Namibia, Norway and Greenland. Later this month the Canadian seal slaughter begins. Last year more than 217,000 harp seals were killed, almost all of which were pups under 3 months of age. Until recently pups were clubbed to death, but Canada outlawed that savagery when it was proved by veterinarians that many pups were being skinned alive. Seals are also harvested for their meat, and fat used in human beauty products. International opposition to the harvest is growing according to ENS. The EU Parliament is to vote on a seal products ban on April 1, but a ban must also be approved by member nations before it can take effect. The ban will come to late to protect pups born this year and not able to swim to safety.
Posted by US PERSON at 5:28 AM