Animal Writes
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From 13 July 2003 Issue

Protect Seals: Do Something

About one million seals, most of them mere pups, are in grave danger. Did you know the Canadian government has set a three-year quota that allows hunters to shoot or club to death almost one million seals? Did you know the Canadian government not only allows the hunt, but actively encourages this inhumane slaughter? How inhumane? An independent panel of veterinarians estimated that still during the 2001 hunt, up to 40% of the seals examined had been skinned alive. While the animals were conscious

The HSUS wants you to join our campaign to protect seals. Perhaps you have seen our full page ad in The New York Times. We want to harness the collective power of those who believe this slaughter must be stopped. Together we can force the Canadian government to halt this brutal hunt forever.

Working Together to Protect Seals

The Humane Society of the United States is working to stop the slaughter of seals in Canada. Working with groups such as the International Wildlife Coalition, Ocean Futures, and the International Fund for Animal Welfare, we are determined to convince the Canadian government not to allow the ice to run red with the blood of seals. You can help save the seals. HSUS also collaborated with Wildlife Works to design the seals t-shirt. $10 from every shirt sold goes to the Protect Seals: Do Something campaign.

What You Can Do

1. Don't vacation in Canada. Consider instead spending your tourist dollars in a nation that does not actively promote a barbaric slaughter of wildlife.

2. Contact Canada's Prime Minister, Jean Chrétien, and the Canadian Tourism Commission. Tell them you are horrified that the Canadian government not only allows but promotes the seal hunt. Tell them that you are not comfortable vacationing in Canada while the seal hunt is legal.

Contact Information:
Prime Minister's Office
Right Honorable Jean Chrétien
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington St. Ottawa,
Ontario, Canada K1A OA2
Fax: 613-941-6900
E-mail: [email protected]
Canadian Tourism Commission
55 Metcalfe St. Suite 600 Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1P 6L5
E-mail: Use the Contact Us form on

3. Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper protesting the seal hunt. Click here for suggestions about what points you can make.

4. Support The HSUS's efforts to stop Canada's slaughter of seals.

More Information

An estimated 95% of the seals killed in Canada's November 15-May 15 hunt are 12 days to 12 months old. The hunt is over for 2003, and while we don't know how many seals were beaten or shot on their home ice east of Newfoundland and Labrador, we do know that the Canadian government is allowing hunters to kill 975,000 harp seals in the next three years. We also know that last year sealers killed at least 30,000 more seals than they were legally allowed. And how did the Canadian government punish the sealers? By upping the quota.

The Canadian government has proven time and again that it is more interested in promoting a commercial seal hunt (a massive slaughter that is nothing like the traditional hunts of the past) than in the humane treatment of seals. When confronted with evidence from an independent, international team of veterinarians that regulations on the treatment of the seals were not being obeyed-that up to 40% of seal pups were being skinned while alive and conscious-the government refused to crack down on sealers.

Some, in fact, might say the government tacitly rewarded the sealers by continuing to subsidize the hunt to the tune of $20 million between 1995 and 2001. And right this minute, it's promoting seal fur, meat, and oil all over the world.

One way the Canadian government justifies its support of the seal hunt is to claim that seals in the North Atlantic eat too many cod. But there's no good scientific support for this claim. In fact, in 1994 two of the government's own scientists reported that the true cause of the cod depletion in the North Atlantic was over-fishing.

Ecosystems are complex-seals also eat cod predators (other fish), for example, so removing seals might even worsen the cod stock's condition. But it's more convenient for the government and fishing industry to scapegoat seals than it is for them to address the serious problem of over-fishing.

You can help save Canada's seals!

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