Russia to ban the hunting of baby seals
Russian government promised to ban the hunting of baby seals in its Northern regions. PM Putin said the industry is "bloody" and should have been ceased a long time ago. He promised to recompensate locals who depended on seal hunting for income.
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The government has banned the hunting of baby seals in the regions surrounding the White Sea.
Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin called seal hunting a "bloody industry".
"It is clear that it should have been banned a long time ago," said Putin at a meeting with the Minister of Natural Resources.
Putin acknowledged the importance of the hunting industry in the region and said that he would require the government to compensate incomes of the White Sea people in connection with the ban on hunting.
"This is one of their means of existence. Therefore, simply banning is inadequate. A system of support measures must be worked out to secure employment and income of those who live and work there," said Putin
Many of the residents around the White Sea depend on sales from the seals, especially their fat, for survival.
The Ministry of Natural Resources is also preparing proposals to ban the hunting of seals up to the age of one.
Recently, the Russian representative of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) along with other ecological organisations repeated their call for a moratorium on the hunting of baby seals.
This news was cautiously applauded by IFAW (The International Fund for Animal Welfare - www.ifaw.org), which has been campaigning to put an end to the Russian seal hunt since 1995. "The agreement to ban the killing of all baby seals less than one year of age is an important step, but it should not be confused with an actual ban," warned Masha Vorontsova, Director of IFAW Russia. "Baby seals will still suffer and die slowly until government officials follow through on their pledge to ban all hunting of seals less than one year of age."
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