Seal pups rescued from Chinese traffickers released back into wild

Animal rights groups have cheered the release of 37 spotted seal pups into the wild in northern China after they were rescued from traffickers.

The Humane Society International said the pups were discovered three months ago by police in a shed on a remote farm in the northern city of Dalian, many of them starving and dying.

Eight suspects were arrested in the operation.

A spotted seal sits in a cage before being released by officials into the sea near Dalian in north-eastern China’s Liaoning province (Xinhua/AP)

The group said the pups had been taken from the wild by traffickers for the aquarium industry and for display in commercial venues such as shops and restaurants.

Another 29 pups died despite efforts to save them, having only been two weeks old when they were found and not yet weaned from their mothers.

Once hunted for their use in traditional Chinese medicine, spotted seals are now a protected species in China.

Crowds cheered as the creatures were released (Xinhua/AP)

Peter Li of Humane Society International said: “We are thrilled that our Chinese partner group, VShine, was able to send animal welfare observers to the release of these seal pups back to the wild.

“Sadly, China’s growing obsession for keeping marine species like seals and turtles in captivity is fueling wildlife crime such as this, which causes immense animal suffering and loss of life.”

- Press Association

More on this topic

Man injured in reported explosion in Donegal

Ukraine’s parliament rebels against new president’s decree

China cuts taxes to encourage chip makers in face of US pressure

Calls for Ireland to ban single-use plastics

More in this Section

Theresa May’s leadership under pressure after Brexit deal backlash from Tories

UK violating its human rights obligations, says UN poverty expert

Indonesia restricts social media as six killed in protest violence

Protesters clash with police after Indonesia election defeat


Lifestyle

From snail facials to blood moisturiser: the strangest things people have done for their skin

Thrill of the grill: 7 reds to fire-up the taste buds this barbecue season

How to make Selina Periampillai’s sunny-side-up egg, chicken and pak choi rice bowl

How to make Selina Periampillai’s Maldivian tuna curry

More From The Irish Examiner