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World Briefing / Namibia

Annual seal hunt will proceed

July 07, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Namibia's annual commercial seal hunt will proceed despite objections by animal welfare groups, a government official said.

Frans Tsheehama of the Namibian fisheries and marine resources ministry said that the season started on Wednesday and will run until Nov. 15. Hunters are expected to club over 90,000 seals, including 85,000 pups.

There was confusion last week over whether the hunt had begun after reports that a South Africa-based animal rights activist was in talks to halt it.

The government argues that the seal population needs to be controlled to protect fish stocks. Activists say the practice is inhumane and outdated.

Seals are hunted for skins, fur and meat, and seal genitals are sold as traditional medicines and aphrodisiacs in Asia.

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