In defence of seal culling

24 March 2011 |
It would seem as if there is more clouded, stagnant emotion attached to the so-called bunny hugger brigade than proper and clear intelligence. I say this not as a personal attack but as a broad generalisation covering most, if not all the unenlightened poor bunny hugger souls out there.

I have just finished reading an emotional letter addressed to a newspaper regarding the so-called barbaric slaughter of seal pups along our seaboard. Now please allow me my own emotional outburst in response. When are these poor souls going to realise that their piteous cries will go unheard for as long as they care to cry, and yet, regardless, the culling will continue?

And why will it continue? Because it is the right thing to do in managing the uncontrolled breed- ing of seals along the coast. Regardless of population census reports, there are many more seals than the reports estimate there are. There are probably as many seals in the water at any given time as there are on land and I am certain that these numbers are not accounted for in any guestimate or seal population census.

Now, taken that there may be as many as one and a half to two million seals on land, this means that by conservative measures there are probably as many as three million fish and crustacean eating seals along our coastline at any given time.

The average adult seal has to eat at least four to eight per cent of its own body weight per day just to survive and feed their young. It means that they could eat as much as 4.8 kilogrammes of food per day on average.

Multiplied by the number of water based seals this comes to an enormous number of 7.2 million kilogrammes of food every single day. (Do the maths Francois: 1.5 million x 4.8 Kgs = 7 200 000 Kgs) If we are to leave the seals and let them breed indiscriminately, we will soon have no fish breeding stock along our coast to attract tourist anglers or fishermen who make their livelihood from fishing.

Neither will we have any kind of shore fishing industry at all which currently feeds many of the starving unemployed people along our coastal towns daily. Our coast will become a water based desert, devoid of any living animal or bird because there will be no fish or anything for anyone to live from and all the seals will also die of hunger.

This together with the Russians and the Spaniards and the Japanese and the Chinese and the rest of the world poaching our fish stocks at night. (What, did you think we do not know? We know, we know, our people just do not have the energy or the sophistication to catch you redhanded at night!) Now, the bunny hugger brigade is more than likely to erroneously refer to preservation at all costs as conservation.

There is a difference as preservation at all costs will mean the demise of the biosphere in which the preserved species are to exist and consequently also the species we are trying to protect. Stupid reasoning not so. Let me explain along a different example.

Take a look at the current elephant populations in a few African situations such as along the Chobe, in Etosha and in the Kruger park to name but a few. These animals are eating their way into oblivion and they are literally turning their natural habitat into a treeless desert. Follow a herd of ?ellies? along their feeding path and look at the destruction.

It looks like a swarm of large locusts has been through there. Damage and carnage everywhere. They are destroying their habitat quicker than it can re-generate and they are soon going to die from hunger. And why? Because the bunny hugger brigade has managed to stop the economic utilization of a viable elephant population by running to all kinds of preservation based organizations throughout the world to apply pressure on governments to stop the trade in elephant products.

Governments which do not have to listen or adhere to people who are not citizens of that country. Sure, protect the really endangered species and assist in the recovery of their numbers, but when their numbers reach a viable sustainable yield, it becomes time for them to pay their own way. In conservation circles it is often said if it pays, it stays! Etosha?s elephant population can be halved and they would still be too many.

There are far too many for the park to carry and that is why they are moving further afield into the commercial areas where they are legally hunted as problem animals. Look at the recovery of the rhino population. Namibia and South Africa are the only two countries in the world where you can actually now legally hunt and shoot a rhino.

Why? Because the correct conservation principles were applied by really good conservationists and people with good clear visions of the future. We only become emotional when these animals are slaughtered by poach- ers for their horns and their bodies are left to rot in the sun. I say poison the horns and shoot the poachers as this will get quicker results with less damage to the rhino population.

Many of these preservation organizations play on our emotions and get all sorts of grants and donations from all the emotionally affected people out there who have no idea what their donations are being used for. Well, let me enlighten you as to the use of some of these funds.

Up to 70 per cent is being used for personal use and salaries to pay the poor emotional people who work for these organizations, believing they are doing the right thing. Where do they think their salaries come from? Like pennies from heaven.

No, they come from the unknowing to be used by organisations to fund their own selfish means and to enrich the founders of such so-called organizations not for gain. Sure, the organization has a no gain tax benefit, but look at the salaries and income of the drivers behind these entities and it will tell a different story altogether.

Why don?t these people go out and get a real job where they can earn their money honestly by learning something and then passing the knowledge on, not turning it into emotional drivel. When God created heaven and earth and all living things in and on it, he gave man dominion over these animals and birds and fish and to use them for his own good.

This is precisely what we are doing by applying conservation and not preservation. We in Namibia are managing our wildlife better than anyone else in the world and the sustainable yield principle which we apply here is greatly successful in all aspects, seal culling included, as there are more seals on our coast today than ever before! Sure, we don?t have to be cruel but if you do not have a better solution, then please keep quiet until you do.

Thus, madam Kelly Morehead, unless you can come up with a better solution to the one which is currently being applied, please keep your opinions to yourself. I am a hunter and in my own humble manner I give more to conservation in order to have a place and game for my grandchildren and their children to hunt than what you will ever do.

We are more eco-friendly than most bunny huggers and have done more to ensure survival of the species than any of your clan ever could. Apart from this we also sustain many other industries which provide us with our equipment and tools and which are people based, people who need jobs and security to raise their families.

We care more for our animals and even more for our fellow humans than you could imagine. And as for Francois Hugo, should he ever set foot here to try and stop the seal culling again, I am sure there are some rather hungry brown hyenas and even lion (yes, I have seen them on the beach) out there who would love to meet him for a friendly chat about the seals he is denying them!

Now, go out and buy a gun and start hunting and learn and become all passionate about conservation and do your bit for mankind too if you dare! You do eat meat of some kind after all, don?t you? But maybe if you don?t want to slaughter the sheep or shoot the buck, you could always bore them to death with emotional drivel and then eat them!

?Nuff said. PS. I am planning my next 4 week hunting trip since March last year already and I will be paying my way through a well conserved area where game is plentiful and the air is pure and where bunny huggers never dare to set foot.

(Letter abridged. Editor)



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