the Canadian Olympics until Harper, fraudulently elected leader of Canada, bans sealclubbing (paid for with taxes taken from Canadian citizens), Russia bans the clubbing of baby seals which Putin calls a bloody industry
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 19 March 2009 11.28 GMT
A baby harp seal wanders among a field of seal carcasses.
The Russian government has banned the hunting of baby harp seals. The decision comes weeks after the prime minister, Vladimir Putin, reportedly called the hunt a "bloody industry".
The natural resources ministry said the Russian federal fisheries agency issued an order yesterday, protecting harp seal pups up to a year old.
"The bloody sight of the hunting of seals, the slaughter of these defenceless animals, which you cannot even call a real hunt, is banned in our country, just as well as in most developed countries. This is a serious step to protect the biodiversity of the Russian Federation," the Russian ecology minister, Yuri Trutnev, said in a statement.
It was not immediately clear whether the ban included exceptions for indigenous communities.
Russia's harp seal population has decreased by a third in the past decade, to about 200,000, squeezed by hunting as well as shrinking Arctic ice in the White Sea region, where much of the Russian population lives.
According to the state-run newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta, Putin told a cabinet meeting on 26 February that seal hunting was a "bloody industry and it's clear that it should have been banned long ago".
In addition to Russia, commercial seal hunting is conducted in Namibia, Greenland, Sweden and Finland, as well as in Canada, which is home to the world's largest annual commercial seal hunt. The Canadian hunt is due to begin later this month.