Mar 17

Press Release: Seal Hunt Activists Unite. Shift Protest To Digital

Press release: Due – Immediate

Seal hunt activists unite as social networks invite a million to protest online

To: All media contacts

Date: 17/03/2015

From:  “The Seals Of Nam.”

Seal hunt activists in support of “Beauty Without Cruelty” and “The Seals Of Nam” will once again take to the streets of Cape Town in a united show of opposition to the last remaining commercial seal hunts, most notably those of Namibia and Canada. Between these two countries, nearly a half million seals are set to be slaughtered each year.

Seal hunt activists  gather to protest Namibian seal hunt

Seal hunt activists from Beauty Without Cruelty and The  Seals Of Nam

This year’s activities will take the form of a symbolic funeral procession on Friday 20th. It will see protesters dressed in traditional funeral attire while carrying coffins as they make their way up Long Street and through St Georges Walk. Social networking platforms will notify over a million people, inviting them to join in the proceedings by supporting an on-line campaign scheduled for the same day. The hash tag #sealhunt is expected to trend on Twitter.

Pat Dickens, spokesperson for ‘The Seals of Nam’ said this was the 5th year his organization had partnered with “Beauty Without Cruelty” in this regard. “It is a symbiotic working relationship that works well for all concerned.” he said. “These public protests generate massive amounts of interest from the public who are both shocked and horrified to learn the contentious seal clubbing industry is still in operation.”

“The impact of our online campaigns cannot be understated” added Dickens. “Our opposition to the seal hunts generates phenomenal online support and often includes big-name celebrity involvement.” In February of this year, news of the respective seal hunts reached the ears of celebrity comedian George Lopez who tweeted “@thesealsofnam, what can people do to help?”

The Cape Town protest, organized by ‘Beauty Without Cruelty’ is one of several that are being coordinated by South African based “The Seals Of Nam”. Protests in other leading international cities, including Tel Aviv, London and New York are also set to take place. Dickens said the success of these protests was due to the willingness of like-minded organizations to work together towards a common goal. “The Seals Of Nam” is also partnered with the International Anti-Fur Coalition, a body representing more than 50 organizations in over 29 countries.

Both the governments of Canada and Namibia claim the seal hunts are a population management necessity; practiced in order to protect fisheries. Dickens has lambasted this notion, saying that it is nothing more than blatant propaganda used to justify a cruel and unethical fur industry. “Neither government has managed to provide one shred of conclusive peer reviewed evidence to support their ludicrous claims” he said.

“Unsustainable, irresponsible fishing practices brought on by modern trawlers, and especially when coupled with conditions associated with climate change are the reasons behind a universal decline in fishery stocks.” explained an adamant Dickens. “Seals have nothing to do with it. They have lived in harmony with the oceans for over four million years.” His views are well supported by numerous welfare and conservation organizations.

Produce derived from the commercial seal hunts have been widely banned on the basis of the inherent cruelty involved. Countries where bans exist include the USA, Mexico, Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, the 27 nations of the EU and even Taiwan; formerly the world’s 3rd largest importer of seal oil, has banned imports.

When asked as to what can be expected from his organization in the near future, Dickens revealed that “The Seals Of Nam” is part of a powerful coalition currently lobbying the South African government to become the first African nation to join the EU in banning the import of produce derived from seal hunts. The coalition comprises of several top scientists, internationally recognized conservation organizations and even the NSPCA. It is supported by several well-known South African personalities, including Miss SA 2010 Bokang Montjane and Cito, musician and frontman for the popular band Wonderboom.

If the move proves successful it could spell disaster for an already embattled Namibian seal hunt which is largely reliant on South African imports of Omega 3 oils. These oils are used in a variety of over-the-counter health supplements, a situation that obviously irks Dickens.

“Because labeling laws in South Africa do not require disclosure of where the ingredients are sourced, no distinction exists as to whether the product contains oils from the seal hunt or not. The result is that unwitting consumers end up supporting an undeniably cruel industry, one that no rational thinking person would knowingly and willingly be a party to. It is a disgraceful situation which amounts to intentional deceit.” he said. “We are calling on any lawyers and advocates who may be prepared to do pro bono work on our behalf to please contact us. The loophole in our labeling laws needs to be addressed and the sooner, the better.”

For more information as well as contact details of the seal hunt activists refer to their website www.thesealsofnam.org or follow them on Twitter @thesealsofnam