"This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness." Dalai Lama

Help save the Cape Fur Seal

by Francois Hugo

FILED IN: Activism · Issue 6

A better world, I am trying, I am on my knees. Here, at the southern tip of Africa, there are 3000 licenced commercial fishing skippers and 30,000 fishermen, many of whom are illegally killing Cape Fur Seals every day.

In life, and in reality, numbers count. I know you all care deeply about the animals. Our Minister, in this democratically governed country, has to consider the needs of the majority; at the moment, it is 30 000 fisherman versus 43 letters of support from 14 countries.

I cannot go to the Minister, with this.

Until I can show, that at least 30 000 people do not want seals killed—I might as well blow smoke into the air. I look at these seals every day, and I can see that they are hanging onto life by a thin thread. There is nothing between life and death, for them, except you and me. Help them, I mean really help them—please. Francois Hugo, Seal Alert-SA

Hundreds of thousands of protected Cape Fur Seals are either being shot, clubbed, drowned or are starving to death. In the Republic of South Africa, the Cape Fur Seals are considered res nullius, meaning they have no owner, and therefore, they have no animal rights protection, as they are not considered Sentient Beings.

Because of antiquated, one-sided laws, fishermen are allowed to carry weapons and explosives on their fishing trips for fear of piracy, “a euphemistic phrase to cover up the daily slaughter of innocent Seals”.

Sadly, the only targets are the seals. The Cape Fur Seal has been a protected species since 1973 under the Sea-bird and Seal Protection Act (Act 46 of 1973) but, ironically, this act was never written to protect them, instead its purpose was to control who killed them commercially. South Africa only suspended culling and clubbing of the seals in 1990.

It is the aim of Seal Alert South Africa, and a host of other organizations, Canadian Voice for Animals, Canada, Action Against Poisoning, Seals-Turkey and IFAW, to name just a few, to create an electronic lobby of 30,000 world citizens and present this petition to The Honourable Minister Martinus Van Schalkwyk of the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism of South Africa, and persuade the DEAT, to carry out the existing laws and to introduce more effective Seal Protection Laws, to the Letter.

to add your name to the petition.
for more info on the organization.


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