Namibia’s annual seal cull – 91.000 seals to be beaten to death

This year, the Namibian government will again cull large numbers of South African seals: 85.000 pups and 6000 bulls. While the bulls get shot, the pups are clubbed and stabbed to death.

The massacre always takes places in July at Cape Cross. On the beach the pups are separated from their mothers, rounded up and clubbed to death. The club used has a nail at one end, “so they feel less pain”.

The carcasses are thrown onto trucks and the blood on the beach is cleaned up by bulldozers. When the tourists arrive, all traces of the massacre have been removed.

The seal meat is made into pet food. Buyer of the pelts is the Australian based Turkish businessman Hatem Yavuz. His contract with the Namibian Government runs until 2019. His main manufacturing plant is based in Istanbul. The clothing made from seal skin is mainly sold in Russia and the Far East. The slogan of Yavuz’s company is “natural wild”.

Until the 1930s, South African seals mainly lived on small offshore islands. This habitat secured a natural regulation of the population. After fishermen had begun to startle the seals from these islands, they settled on the coastal beaches of the main land, their population increased and they have built large colonies since.

Ulrich Schnapauff (transl. Resy de Ruijsscher)