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Namibia struggles to meet quota of killing 80,000 baby seals as import bans cut demand for fur

 
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07/25/2013 08:22 PM
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Namibia struggles to meet quota of killing 80,000 baby seals as import bans cut demand for fur
[link to www.bloomberg.com]

Namibia will struggle to meet its quota of killing 80,000 baby seals this year as import bans in the European Union, the U.S. and Russia cut demand for fur products, the International Fund for Animal Welfare said.

“People are more aware of the cruelty involved and that’s resulted in import bans around the world,” Sheryl Fink, director of IFAW’s seal campaign, said in a telephone interview from Toronto yesterday. “It’s not an industry that’s commercially viable.”

The south-west African country, the second-biggest hunter of seals behind Canada, begins its annual seal cull this month as it seeks to boost fish populations and profit from selling pups’ fur and adult male penises, which are used as an aphrodisiac in Asia. Animal rights groups oppose the cull because they say it’s inhumane and are demanding the practice be ended.

Namibia will allow hunters to kill as many as 86,000 Cape Fur seals this year, the same quota as in 2012, including 6,000 adult males, said Bernhard Esau, Namibia’s minister of fisheries and marine resources, by telephone from Windhoek. Seal pups’ fur is used to make boots and hats.

“If we don’t harvest the seals, this

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