Monday, March 23, 2009

Putin Attacks Canada, Saves Seals

In a move to clearly inflame Canadian opinion Russian PM Vladimir Putin has banned baby seal infantacide.According to the Polar Conservation Organization:

"Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's usual tough-guy image has a soft spot after all. He condemned the hunting of baby Whitecoat / Harp seals. In a ban on seal hunting coming ?

During a meeting with his cabinet he was quoted saying "This is a bloody business and it clearly should have been banned long ago."

Following protests by environmental groups, many countries have banned the large-scale hunting of Whitecoat /Harp seals.

It is not the first time that Putin showed he has compassion for wildlife and nature. He had a controversial oil pipeline around Siberia's Lake Baikal re-routed in 2006 and was shown on tv with the tiger cub he had been given for his birthday."

Canadians were shocked by this unexpected Russian move, Russia Blog reports the following:

"Sheryl Fink, a researcher for the International Fund for Animal Welfare based in Guelph, Ont, was positively shocked by Putin’s decision. The Russian branch of the organization held rallies in cities across Russia last month, but after years of fruitless campaigning, Mr. Putin's support caught them off guard. "It highlights the fact that Canada is still in the Dark Ages on this issue. It's astounding when even the government of Russia is more willing to listen to its own people than ours is," Ms. Fink said.

Yury Trutnyev, the Russian Minister of Natural Resources, announced a ban on the hunting of all harp seals less than one year old. "This bloody hunting is from now on banned in our country, as in most developed countries. This is an important measure to preserve Russia's biodiversity," he said. The Russian ban effectively ends commercial seal hunting in that country, as most of the market for pelts comes from seals less than a year old, reported The National Post. A quota had previously allowed for the harvesting of up to 35,000 seals in the White Sea, near Russia's border with Finland."

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