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Taiwan bans trade in marine mammal products, including seal skins

To: The editor
From: The Seals Of Nam
Dear Sir,
The Taiwanese Legislative Yuan has been unanimous in passing legislation banning the trade of marine mammal products, including seal skins. Only products from traditional indigenous hunts are exempt from this ban.
430 000 kg of seal oil were imported into the Taiwan between 2003 and 2009. This made Taiwan the fourth largest importer of seal oil in the world. We take this opportunity to thank the Taiwanese government for their compassion and for closing yet another market on what is undoubtedly a cruel, barbaric and savage industry. Taiwan joins ranks with the 27 nations of the European Union, the USA, Mexico, Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan… all of which have banned seal products based on the inherent cruelty involved.
The significance of this legislation will undoubtedly have a massive impact on Namibia, a country defiant of international sentiment regarding globally accepted anti-cruelty laws. In 2012, the Namibian ombudsman Adv. John Walters declared that seals are not animals and are thus exempt from the country’s Animal Protection Act. It is therefore unfortunate that while the rest of the world celebrates the Taiwanese ban as a watershed moment against animal cruelty, we as an organisation find ourselves preparing for yet another year of international protests, demonstrations and consumer boycotts against Namibia for their annual culling of 80 000 Cape Fur seal pups still dependent on their mothers.
Namibia is the only country on earth to slaughter unweaned seals. It is the only country in the southern hemisphere still involved in the practice of bludgeoning seals to death. This primitive behaviour is perceived by the developed world as savage and barbaric and has resulted in numerous travel agencies no longer promoting the country. Ethical Traveller, an organisation that uses the economic clout of tourism to protect human rights and the environment, has dropped Namibia from its list of ethical destinations based on the annual cull.
Kind Regards
Pat Dickens
Campaign Manager
The Seals of Nam

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