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Dear President Putin,

I am asking you to stop the cruel slaughter of sealpups on the coast of the White Sea.

While other countries condemn such brutality, why does Russia continue to support the cruel slaughter of baby seals on its shores?

Commercial seal hunt is opposed by the overwhelming majority of people around the world, because of it’s cruelty.

In 2006, the European Parliament passed a resolution calling for an EU wide ban of seal products, and the Council of Europe called on its 46 member states to promote initiatives aimed at prohibiting the trade in seal products. In recent years, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, Germany, Slovenia, France, Croatia, Italy, Mexico and Panama have either ended their trade in seal products or announced their intentions to do so.

As a result of the Canadian government’s failure to ban the Canadian seal hunt, many people are expressing their opposition by boycotting Canadian products. To date, half a million individuals and over 3,500 restaurants, grocery stores and seafood distributors have pledged to avoid some or all Canadian seafood to pressure Canada to end the seal hunt, costing Canada's fishing industry many times the value of the seal hunt.

The same fate may be in store for Russia, when the world is getting increasingly aware of the Russian seal hunt. It may be a very expensive decision for the Russian government to to resume and increase the killing of seal pups on the Russian shores.

Instead of relying on funds from the Norwegian Ministry and continuing the hunts, you should consider to promote ecotourism in the White Sea region to see the pups in their natural environment. It would not only save the seal pups from the cruel killing. It would also bring tourism and interest to an area that is in need of support and protection to save the environment, and would provide a chance of an income to the people who live there. To most of us European it would be an exotic and unique travel opportunity. It would also bring good will to Russia, instead of sending the message that Russia is a country that not only wants to preserve old, cruel habits – you are also willing to develop such practices and take it to a next level of commercialisation of cruelty to animals. It sends the wrong message to the world, and also to the new generation, the young people of the world. For the sake of the future of our planet, children need to learn kindness and compassion.

The cruel seal hunt is damaging to Russia’s reputation in the world, and also makes people fear for their own safety when travelling in those parts of the world. It thus has a negative impact on Russian tourism as a whole.

Please please sign the proposed "Law of the Russian Federation for Protection of Animals against Cruel Treatment" into effect and stop the killings of the seal pups!

Also please ensure these pups' safety from poaching by appointing land-guard to watch the territory.

Thank you very much for your attention to this matter.


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Fakta om ryska sälslakten, februari 2007