Seals in Russia
Despite many years of
campaigning to try and prevent the annual seal pup hunt in the
White Sea region of Russia, Kent based spearheading group European
Animal Welfare (EAW) supported by North Kent Animal Welfare (NKAW)
are still largely hitting a brick wall when it comes to getting
the EU to act.
Stavros Dimas, Member
of the European Commission; http://europa.eu.int/comm/commission_barroso/dimas/index_en.htm
has been promising EU action on the Russian seal hunt for a long
time now. To date, and after discussions between EAW and NKAW, the
feeling is very much that Mr. Dimas is a man of many words and
very little action when it comes to fighting for the lives of
Russian seal pups. Please note that we are talking seal pups, mere
babies born every Spring; and unfortunately, killed that very same
With the 2006 hunting
season on the horizon, we feel that once again it is time to have
to ask caring people to contact their MEPs and ask them to write
to Mr. Dimas to ascertain when something is actually going to be
done by the EU to stop the murder of seal pups in Russia. To find
MEPs for your region, go to http://www.writetothem.com/
and follow the simple instructions.
A draft letter which
can be copied and pasted follows.
I understand that in
your frequent correspodence with Uk based European Animal Welfare
(EAW) and North Kent Animal Welfare (NKAW); you have often quoted
that "EU-Russian Summits have agreed to strengthen
co-operation with Russia on a wide range of issues". In May
2005 you stated to NKAW that "The Commission is ready to
raise the issue of the seal pup hunt again with Russia". In a
September 2005 letter to EAW, you state that "we (the EU) are
aiming at holding technical meeting concerning the issue wiuth the
Russian authorities in the near future".
I have since learned
from your letter to EAW of 22nd November 2005, no further meetings
of the EU-Russia Partnership and Co-operation Agreement
Sub-Committee on Energy, Environment and Nuclear safety have been
held since September 2001. I understand that it is through this
agreement that the issue of the seal hunts is raised. You state in
your letter that "In any future revitalisation of the
environment dialogue with Russia, the agenda for technical
meetings will be drawn up in agreement with the Russian
authorities; and .... the seal hunt is one of the issues that will
be considered for such an agenda, alongside other predominant
issues such as climate change.
In the period 2001 to
2005, approximately 123, 234 baby seal pups have been murdered by
the Russians; either directly on the ice or transported to 'Seal
Farms' where they are held until their fur reaches the required
quality and where they are killed by lethal injection under the
I consider that the
killing of baby seals just a mere week or two old IS a dominant
issue which should be raised and discussed with the Russian
authorites at every possible chance; regardless of how it is done;
and not just held as a future 'hope' that there will be some
re-vitalisation of environmental issues with Russia. I would be
grateful if you would consider my utmost dissappointment that you
as the EU representative with the Russian authorities have failed
to bring the Russian seal hunt further up the Agenda at any such
meeting(s) in the past, and trust that they will be placed HIGH on
the agenda at any future meetings. I now have no option but to
contact my MEP(s) and ask them to raise the issue of the EU
failing to try and prevent the Russian seal hunt at every
opportunity they will have within their term at the EU Parliament.
I would like EU action
with Russia on this Mr. Dimas, not just verbal statements which
amount to nothing over several years.
I trust that I will
hear from you on this specific issue in the very near future;
hopefully before the 2006 slaughter commences in the Spring of
Thanks for all your
support on the campaign to stop the Russian Seal Pup Hunt; routine
information is hard for us to come by; but we do expect the EU to
fight our corner here, for EU Citizens concerned about animal
welfare, especially where the lives of tens of thousands of seal
pups are concerned each and every year.
Regards (for the pups
Robert (EAW) and Mark
(NKAW) - Kent, England, Uk.
The attached pictures
0002 and 0003 show seal pups which have been taken from the ice,
and which have been netted ready for airlifting to seal farms at
which they are given no food; they often try to suckle each other.
They will be held until their coats reach the 'beater' stage;
turning a soft silver-grey with spots. They are killeed by
injection; using Dithyllinum; which is a curariform drug which
produces death by immobilising the skeletal respiratory muscles,
causing fatal suffocation. The American Veterinary Medical
Association (AVMA) recommends that "the use of this drug to
produce euthanasia is strongly condemned !!"