Brutal Namibian seal hunt caught on film – Journalists attacked
The Cape Cross Seal Reserve attracts many thousands of paying visitors each year. Opening hours are strict as between 7am and 9am for half the year. Around 200 seal pups are killed each day for the fur industry – the same colony visited by the tourists. ©
90,000 seals cubs to be clubbed
Dutch charity Bont voor Dieren is also part of the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) global Member Society Network. The WSPA has worked with Ecostorm to capture footage of various animal welfare issues over the last few years.
Click here to see the video on the WSPA website. It may distress some people.
July 2009: Secret footage smuggled out of Namibia has revealed the brutal reality of the Namibian seal hunt - and the subsequent attack on British journalist Jim Wickens and South African cameraman Bart Smithers.
The dramatic film shows seals being killed by hunters during a hunt at the Cape Cross Reserve in Namibia and hunters armed with clubs running towards film maker Bart Smithers and Jim Wickens, from the UK's Ecostorm agency. The journalists, who were working on assignment with Dutch lobby group Bont voor Dieren were violently attacked by seal hunters before being detained by police.
The pair were subsequently held by the Namibian authorities before being freed after agreeing to pay a fine for "entering a protected marine area without a permit."
The incident has been reported around the world and shone a spotlight on the little known Namibian seal hunt.
Andrew Wasley, from Ecostorm, today said: "These are the pictures the Namibian authorities do not want the world to see. This week's violence and legal action against our journalists illustrate the lengths the seal hunt lobby and the authorities will go to to prevent images such as this from being broadcast."
Claudia Linssen, from Bont voor Dieren, said: "After watching these horrendous images one can only conclude one thing - this cruel hunt must stop. It is simply not possible for the Namibian authorities to continue promoting seal watching as a tourist activity whilst behind the scenes there is this grim killing taking place"
Boycott Namibia until this stops
She continued: "We urge the Namibian Government to cease the culling of seals and instead concentrate on sustainable tourism. As long as this cruelty continues we ask people to think twice about Namibia as a tourist destination."
Claire Bass, Head of Marine Mammals at World Society of the Protection of Animals (WSPA), said: "Every day hundreds of seal pups are suffering this barbaric treatment in this so-called 'seal reserve'. Commercial sealing is utterly cruel and unnecessary - the Namibian government must put a stop to it, to protect both seals and the seal-watching industries which depend upon them."
90,000 seal cubs clubbed
Namibia's seals number about 800,000 and more than 90,000 seals will be clubbed to death during this year's sealing season, which started in early July.
The hunt takes place secretly to avoid the glare of publicity - and to avoid upsetting tourists. Namibia is a popular tourist destination, particular for Dutch and German nationals.