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; 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 Spring.

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 and follow the simple instructions.

A draft letter which can be copied and pasted follows.


Mr. Dimas;

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 flipper.

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 next year.

Yours Sincerely


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 of Russia)

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 !!"



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