Help us protest against the cruel seal hunt in Russia!

Despite protests from both Russian Animal Protection Groups and other organizations from around the world, seal pups are still being slaughtered in the cruellest way by the coast of Archangelsk, Murmansk.

The seal pups are born in February - March. They are slaughtered when just born or only a few weeks old. Russia is the only country that allows the slaughtering of so young pups; younger than 14 days. The seals are hunted with harpoons from boats.

For economical reasons the slaughtering has been restricted for a few years; but in 2007 it increased again because a Norwegian company and the Russian government supported it.

It is through the cooperation between local authorities in Archangelsk and a Norwegian seal hunting company, "Riber Fur", that the seal hunting suddenly boomed. In 2007 the Norwegian company contributed to the hunting of seals by lending a boat for two weeks. In 2008 the cooperation will increase dramatically as Riber plan to buy 20 more boats and in time give them to local seal hunters. The number of seal that are allowed to be slaughtered has also increased; more than 600%. In 2007 Norwegian seal slaughterers had a quota of 15 000 seals on Russian ice. In 2008 that quota increased to 27 000 seals! Local companies in Archangelsk involved in the slaughtering of seals report a quota of 70 000 seals last winter. The actual number of slaughtered seals is uncertain; especially as rules stipulate that you can kill 2.5 seal pups for every adult seal…

Seal pups were earlier transported alive by helicopter to the coast. On so called "seal farms" they were kept in cages for a couple of weeks before they were slaughtered. That came to a halt when fuel became too expensive. There are plans of reinstalling such "seal farms"; as yet we have not received any information as to that being the case.

The hunting is funded by both the Russian and the Norwegian government, they are eager to keep the hunting going as a means to lessen the competition about the fish in sea. Riber and the Norwegian seal hunting are both supported by government funds. Riber is the most important buyer of seal fur, even from Canada; but it is not a lucrative business. A few years back Riber received funding from the Norwegian government to burn fur that were impossible to sell!

Locally in Archangelsk/Murmansk there is the hope that this business will create new employment; by equipping seal hunters and the preparation of both seal fur and meat.We suggest that money is instead invested in eco tourism; something that has been a lucrative alternative to the slaughtering of seals outside the coast of Canada.

Here you can find information that confirms Norwegian support to the seal slaughtering:

Below you can find two letters that you can copy and send to Russian president Putin and the Norwegian government.

Do it as soon as possible! Hunting season lasts from February to April!

Ask that president Putin acknowledges the earlier suggested legislation regarding animal welfare, (something that is better for all animals, not only seals) and makes sure that seal pups are protected.

Ask that Norway immediately stop their financial support to the seal hunting in Russia.

Please write to us and tell whether you have used one or more of our letters…

Letter to president Putin

More protest letters