Elena's letter, March 2008

Dear friends,

The cruel and bloody seal hunt is starting up in Russia again.

In 2007 the authorities of Arkhangelsk region signed an agreement with the Norwegian firm "GC Riber Skinn" to take part in the cruel, bloody hunt of seals. The cooperation will continue until 2015. It also means that the number of seals that will be killed will be increased by 600%. The agreement was supported by the Russian ministry of agriculture’s Department of fishing.

Each year by the end of February the Greenlands seals give birth to their pups in the shores of the White sea - their maternity hospital. They organize nurseries and kindergartens. Like big pearls the pups lie on the arctic turquoise ice. They are not able to run away, they can not yet swim. And they are not able to protect themself from 2-legged killers.

In Russia, seals have been classified by the Russian ministry of agriculture as ”fish”. The quota (the number allowed to be killed) can be found on the list of quota for different species of fish. For 2007, the quota was 15 000 seals.

For 2008 it has been increased to about 27 000 – and this is the quota for the Norweigian seal hunting ships only. According to last years reports from the Arkhangelsk seal hunting companies, they had a quota of about 70 000 seals.

And there is a very important note of the department of fishing: “ONE ADULT SEAL IS EQUAL TO 2,5 SEAL PUPS“!!!

Russia is the only one country where the slaughtering of pups before 14 days of age is officially allowed.

The blood-thirsty “Riber Skinn” is going to build a fur factory to process the skins from the baby seals. They have ordered specially equipped ships for the killing and use the satellite monitoring. And now they are teaching the Russian killers to become more efficient killers.

In the Russian seal hunt, harpoons are used to kill the pups. The ice becomes blood-red on turquoise-blue. Witnesses report that the pups shriek with pain when shot. The other seal pups have to watch and wait their turn. No one checks if the pup is alive or not before it’s being skinned, and reports estimate that about 50% of the pups are being skinned alive.

The killers’ children take part in the slaughter and are taught to cut out the heart and the tonque, because there are delicacies. This is a method to train the future hunters to be merciless. The children are being sent home by helicopters, with the big bags of tonques and hearts in dirty bloody cloth.

In Norway, the Government is supporting seal hunting since the seals are competing with the fishing industry about the fish. Therefore Riber Skinn receives government support to take part in the commercial seal hunt and to process the furs.

The Russian scientist Andrey Shirokikh provided the opposite idea: the fishers are catching to much fish and the poor seal starve. So to prevent the seals from suffering from starvation, it would be better to kill them – and of course to use the furs. This argument is now used by the Russian Ministry of agriculture, who us supportive of the seal hunt for the sake of saving the seals from hunger.

And the committee of the nature resources of the parliament of Russia has reduced the taxes for seal killers from 350 rubles to 140 roubles “in order to regenerate the hunting”.

Russian citizians express their protest against this slaugther. Demonstrations has taken place in Moscow, St.Petersburg, Rostov-on-Don (South), Barnaul (Siberia), Nizh. Novgorod and also in the Kiev, Ukraine.

The seal pups need Your help - the support of the civilized mankind

Help the seal pups. TODAY! You can write Your PROTEST letter: Write Your PROTEST letter!