“The pen is mightier than the sword!”
Below you will find sample letters that may be used. They are followed by a list of relevant email addresses. Please feel free to adapt accordingly or simply use as is.
Attention: Namibian Authorities
To whom it may concern,
It is with great sadness that I draft this letter. Namibia has for many years been a destination I have looked forward to traveling to, not only for its value, but especially for the multitude of attractions it has on offer. From the magnificence of the Etosha National Park and the Caprivi region, to quad bike and 4×4 trails, star-gazing from the world’s oldest desert dunes, to the Fish River Canyon and the scattered bones and shipwrecks of the Skeleton Coast – Namibia is a place alive with possibilities. It is surely one of the best destinations for any would-be adventurer and I can think of few things better than enjoying ice cold Windhoek beers under the shade of palm trees on the promenades of Swakopmund.
I find it sadly ironic that a country with so much potential chooses to isolate itself from international tourism on the basis of its annual seal slaughter. The violent, savage and cruel beating to death of 80,000 baby seals is totally unacceptable.
My challenge to you is to put an immediate end to this barbaric practice. The slaughter is totally unnecessary and does nothing positive for your country except to appease the greedy commercial interests of an elite few. In fact, all the slaughter is doing is tarnishing your status as a viable international tourist destination. Employment for the +/-100 people involved in the clubbing of seals can (and will) be found if you took the initiative to market your seal colony properly in terms of eco-tourism. I believe that a huge market can be developed from the sale of seal guano as fertiliser.
This correspondence serves to inform you that until the slaughter is ended, I will boycott your country not only in terms of tourism, but also all sport and Namibian produce. I will not drink those wonderful beers as previously mentioned, I will not buy “blood diamonds” from De Beers who support your economy, I will not purchase my favourite hand made German chocolates. I will ensure that any marble, aluminium or tin that I purchase does not come from Namibia. I will inform and discourage my friends from supporting your country and I will continue raising awareness to an international audience by making use of the internet and popular social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Orkit, Bebo, Google + and StumbleUpon.
Please understand that I am not doing this out of malice or spite, but the continued slaughter goes against every grain of my beliefs. I urge you to become heroes, end the massacre and be the proud leaders we would like to look up to.
Email Addresses of Decision Makers and Role Players
firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com;
Attention: Respected Members of the Travel and Tourism Industry
To whom it may concern,
“Like nowhere else in Africa, Namibia provides the visitor the opportunity to escape stress, experience peace and freedom, sit and admire the breathtaking landscapes and reflect. From game-packed parks to the silence and spectacle of the desert, this incredible country, its landscapes, people and wildlife are waiting.” ~ Namibia Tourism
This is typical of the propaganda travel agencies portray about Namibia, a safe haven for wildlife, attracting tourists to Namibia from all over the world. The reality, and what tourists do not realise, is that Namibia is responsible for the largest slaughter of wildlife in Africa. Approximately 80,000 Cape fur seal pups are violently beaten to death each year for their fur alone; while 6,000 bulls are shot at point blank range so that their penises can be made into ineffective sex potions in the Far East.
Much of this massacre takes place in a dedicated seal reserve – an area where one would expect these animals to be protected. The Namibian Department of Tourism has stated that “the Cape Cross Seal Reserve was established to protect the largest breeding colony of Cape fur seals in the world”. Cape Cross is a hugely popular destination for travelers coming specifically to see the seal colony. It is therefore bitterly ironic that these same seals are butchered by the thousands before the beaches are cleared of blood and reopened for paying tourists to view what remains of such a once majestic site.
Numerous travel agencies no longer promote Namibia. Ethical Traveler has dropped Namibia from its list of ethical destinations based on this annual slaughter. I commend Ethical Traveler’s stance and equally echo their call for the hunt to end.
In light of the above, I have pledged to boycott Namibia tourism and will encourage to do the same until this savagery is stopped. End this massacre and restore this beautiful country’s reputation as not only one of the most environmentally progressive African nations, but also as a premier ethical travel destination.
Email Addresses of Decision Makers and Role Players
Sample 3 -Media Alert
To whom it may concern:
I wish to draw your attention to an event of unprecedented, diabolical cruelty currently taking place in the third world African country of Namibia.
80 THOUSAND Cape Fur seal pups, still nursing and dependent on their mother’s teats, are being violently beaten to death with pick handles. A further 6 THOUSAND adult bull seals are scheduled to be shot at point blank range. The pups suffer this brutal death so that their fur pelts can be sold for a measly $7 dollars while the bulls are butchered so that their genitals can be used to make ineffective sex tonics for a seedy Asian adult entertainment market.
Namibia is the only country on earth to allow the barbaric slaughter of un-weaned pups. By fraudulently promoting seal genitalia as a sexual performance enhancer, the country not only fuels an illegal trade in animal body parts for fake medicines, but is as guilty as those who claim medicinal benefits from rhino horn.
Namibia’s Animal Protection Act specifically states that it is an offence to “overload, overdrive, override, ill-treat, neglect, infuriate, torture or maim or cruelly beat, kick, goad or terrify any animal.”
In 2011, leading conservation and welfare organizations, among them Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, IFAW, Seal Alert SA, The Seals of Nam, WSPA and the NSPCA met with the country’s ombudsman to discuss the legalities and methods pertaining to the annual “harvest.” After numerous protracted delays that smack of political interference, the ombudsman finally released a report on his findings. In this report, Adv. John Walters (the ombudsman) ruled that a seal is NOT an animal (because it is a wild animal) and is thus not subject to any protections afforded by the Animal Protection Act. The ombudsman also made several recommendations to the government regarding the hunt, none of which have been implemented.
The Namibian government claims the commercial seal hunt is done out of necessity and is a form of population control practiced in order to protect the country’s fishing resources. Since gaining independence in 1990, Namibia increased it’s annual fisheries harvest from 300 thousand tons to 600 thousand tons. There are no publicly available records to show that an impact assessment was undertaken to warrant such a drastic increase.
The Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources for Namibia, Bernard Esau, regularly ignores the advice of his own government scientists and allocates quotas way in excess of those recommended. He also invites with open arms the Dirk Diederik (a super trawler banned from several countries) to plunder the country’s fisheries resources.
In December of 2013, the Namibian Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources sent out a press release acknowledging increased seal mortality rates along the Namibian coast. This was corroborated by independent eyewitness accounts and reports of several thousand seals found dead along the beaches. Just three months later, in March of 2014, the Namibian media quoted Bernard Esau as “considering war on seals.” One would expect a responsible minister to at least suspend the hunt based on the uncertainty principle rather than resorting to kicking a dog when it is down.
The Cape Fur seal is a threatened species and is listed on Appendix II of CITES (UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) These animals have lost more than 90 % of preferred habitat and have suffered from several major mass die offs, the last of which wiped out 1/3rd of total population. This is the largest mass die off of any marine mammal in recorded history. Global warming, over fishing and loss of habitat play a major role in their future survival.
In light of the above, and aside from other dubious “conservation” practices (which include issuing hunting permits for rare desert elephants) I hereby pledge my support for a boycott of all sport, produce and tourism of Namibia until such stage as the seal massacre is permanently ended.
Email Addresses of high profile media
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