"THEY ARE KIDS, NOT SKINS":
CHILDREN FROM URAL SEND LETTERS TO RUSSIAN PRESIDENT FOR PROTECTION OF WHITECOATS
In Sverdlovsk region (Ural) the action in address of the President V.Putin has began. During the action the
environmentalists plan to send the letters from children, children's drawings and appeals with request to cancel
the veto from the Law on protection of animals against cruel treatment accepted by State Duma (Parliament) in
1999, which forbids hunt for newly born mammals.
In the end of February the regular killing of whitecoats (seal-pups) has began in the north part of Russia. On
the eve of the spring seals move closer to the coast of White Sea to born and bring up pups. It's as easy as pie
to get seal-pups, they are absolutely helpless - because of thick fur they cannot swim at all, hunters straight
on the ice slaughter them by sticks and hooks. Sometimes whitecoats suffer even more painful death: they are
taken on the coast and for three weeks are kept in cages, until their fur become grey and more valuable, then
they are killed. For all this time whitecoats aren't fed, they live due to subcutaneous fat. It is incredible,
but this bloody slaughter does not stop, but is branched out in the near future.
There is a bill already in Russia passed by State Duma, in which there is clause that forbids that activity, in
2000 former Russian President Yeltsin vetoed this law. The quota for seal-fishery is increased: for 2003 it
amounts to 60-80 thousands of pups of Greenland seal (for comparison: in 1990-s years the joint quota for Russia
and Norway was 40 thousand of seals).
The new president of Russia took the stand of his predecessor. Vladimir Putin sent the letter to the State Duma,
in which he says that there is no necessity in such a law, because it has no its subject of legal regulation.
Parliamentarian weren't convinced by this answer, and they made up conciliatory commission to override
presidential veto. But while the conciliatory process drags on, the hunters us their bludgeons and guns again:
the total killing of whitecoats goes on.
Besides not so long ago The Government of Russia has signed the Agreement on the international standards on
humane catching of wild animals between the EU, Canada and Russia, where the it is forbidden to hunt seal-pups.
But the government, however till now hasn't introduced it to the State Duma for ratification.
"The every-year slaughter of the seal-pups in our country, which ranks itself to the civilized world, should be
stopped. Russia should ratify the Agreement on international standards on humane catching of wild animals? which
it has already signed.
Children write these words on their drawings: "Mr. President, they are not skins, they are babies". It would be
desirable to believe, that our President will listen to the opinion of young citizens of Russia", - says Olga
Podosenova, the coordinator of the programs of Ural Environmental Union.
The action announced by ISEU on gathering of appeals to V.Putin, in Ekaterinburg is supported by Ural
Environmental Union. In the action took part school N 110 and kindergarten N 75 of Ekaterinburg, and the Station
of young naturalists from Kamensk-Uralsky (Sverdlovsk region).
For further information:
Ural Environmental Union, Ekaterinburg,
Sverdlovsk Region, Russia
ph.: 7 (3432) 74-82-40,
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