I read this blog post on the Animal Connection blog (here at WordPress) and just had to share it.
I must say that although I am not usually one to support the activists at the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, who can be a little too polemic and extreme for my comfort levels; I find myself supporting their views here, with respect to a sealion branding programme Astoria, Oregon (USA), which I gather is being undertaken by the Oregon Department of Fish And Wildlife. This branding programme is so barbaric it results in mortalities (I imagine many of the animals succumb to infection).
I am utterly flabbergasted!
This kind of branding practice, in addition to be cruel and painful is like cracking a walnut with a sledgehammer! Why not use colour and shape coded tags which is general practice globally. Coloured tags of different shapes have high visibility and can show year classes etc. from a distance (arguably with greater certainty than the barbarous iron branding used here)