Shady seal sanctuaries shuttered

The Dutch Food and Product Safety Authority (NVWA) performed inspections at various locations in Groningen on Tuesday, looking for individuals who are suspected of taking in seals without the required license. 

Two seals were found in a private household. A police report was drawn up against the suspect. The seals were sent to the seal nursery in Pieterburen for care and rehabilitation.

As seals are wild animals, they are only allowed to be kept in professional centers with a waiver from the government. In the Netherlands these are Ecomare, a reception location in Stellendam, and Pieterburen seal sanctuary with a branch in Oostvoorne.

Reports of people on Terschelling and Maeland who delivered seals to EHBZ (Firs Aid Seal shelter) lead to this investigation. The animals were not transferred to an official shelter. Considerably fewer sick seals were taken to professional centers in recent months.