ISTANBUL — An Australian-based fur company has begun culling baby seals in Namibia after animal rights activists failed to pay on time the millions of dollars they pledged to buy the company out, the owner said Friday.
"Nothing came from these associations and we have begun the annual slaughter," Hatem Yavuz -- who has offices both in Sydney and Istanbul in his native Turkey -- told AFP.
Earlier this month, animal rights activists announced that they had launched a campaign to raise 14.2 million US dollars (9.9 million euros) to buy out Yavuz's company which buys the pelts.
Yavuz said that he had been ready to go along with the offer -- made by several associations, including Seal Alert South Africa and Humane Society International -- but said he now felt they had been dishonest.
"I told them 'You want to buy me out, buy me out'. Today, there is nothing on the table. They kept the money in their pocket," he said.
The culling began "about a week ago," after a two-week delay, Yavuz added.
The annual commercial seal harvesting season in Namibia officially began on July 1 with a quota of 85,000 pups due to be clubbed to death and 6000 bulls to be shot on the country's coast.
In May this year, the European Union banned imports and exports of all seal products in their 27 member states, including transporting these products through the EU to other parts of the world.
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