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City asking residents to assist in ending illegal seal feeding in Hout Bay<p>The City and DFFE would like to inform members of the public, tour operators, tour guides and all our visitors that the feeding, approaching, harassing and disturbance of seals is a criminal offence in terms of the Threatened or Protected Marine Species Regulations and an offence in terms of the City's Coastal By-Law. Anyone found feeding, disturbing or harassing seals at the Hout Bay harbour may be arrested and could face criminal charges. </p><p>All members of the public are informed that the following activities could result in a spot fine of up to R3000 in terms of the City's Coastal By-law:</p><ul><li>Paying anyone to feed a seal or to get the seal to perform any tricks or acts</li><li>Posing with a seal for a photograph</li><li>Sitting on or touching a seal</li><li>Being within 5m of a seal</li></ul><p> </p><p>Following a large scale operation led by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) with support from City of Cape Town staff to capture and relocate five habituated seals from Hout Bay harbour to Kleinsee in the Northern Cape, the illegal seal feeding and cruel habituation of seals continues in the harbour.  </p><p> </p><ul><li>One of the seals relocated to Kleinsee has already swum all the way back to Hout Bay harbour, a distance of over 700km in less than seven days. </li><li>This incredible journey of over 100km per day by the seal demonstrates the power of habituation. </li><li>Sadly, it also shows us that relocation of the habituated seals is not a viable ongoing solution for the welfare of the seals.  </li></ul><p> </p><p>The City will continue to monitor the situation and will wait to see if any more of the relocated seals make the trip all the way back to Hout Bay.</p><p> </p><p>'We are appealing to members of the public, tour operators, tour guides and all our visitors to work with the City and DFFE to put an end to this abuse and cruelty that seals endure during training. We ask for responsible tourism that respects and appreciates our coastal wildlife from a safe and respectful distance, without interfering with the animals at all times,' said the City's Deputy Mayor and Mayoral Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Alderman Eddie Andrews. </p><p> </p><p>The abuse, training and feeding of wild seals will stop if there is no incentive for those doing it.   </p><p> </p><p>DFFE also requests that anyone who witnesses the feeding and harassment of seals report the incident to <a href="mailto:envirocrime@dffe.gov.za">envirocrime@dffe.gov.za</a>. </p><p> </p><p> </p><p><strong>End</strong></p><p><br></p>2023-11-23T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#e938824e-250c-49c3-b7f5-3ea9336e2e9f;L0|#0e938824e-250c-49c3-b7f5-3ea9336e2e9f|Hout Bay;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#01acd19e-98d3-4807-b9c2-f9226b3d0c66;L0|#001acd19e-98d3-4807-b9c2-f9226b3d0c66|Animal life in an area10

 

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