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From 23 May 2004 Issue

Speak Out Against Canadian Seal Slaughter
From Animal Protection Institute (API) - info@api4animals.org

Although killing seals won't bring back the cod whose precipitously declining numbers mean unemployment for Newfoundland fishermen, commercial seal hunts continue to be promoted and subsidized by the Canadian government. Last year, the Canadian government announced that it would permit the clubbing and shooting of close to one million baby harp seals over the next three years, the highest quota for seal killing in Canada’s history. On April 5, 2004, the New York Times described graphically how sealers bear down on helpless seal pups, and “with one or two blows to the head, they crush the skulls, sometimes leaving the young animals in convulsions. The men drag the bodies to waiting fishing vessels or skin them on the spot, leaving a crisscross of bloody trails on the slowly melting ice.” A few days later, guest columnist Colman McCarthy wrote in the Christian Science Monitor that “[t]he Canadian seal hunt is the largest mass killing of marine mammals anywhere. No wild animal is as defenseless as the slow-moving and guileless seal. Canadian government figures show that 96 percent of the 286,238 seals reported killed last year were 12 days to 12 weeks old — pups too young to swim or eat on their own.”**

A U.S. Senate resolution urging the Canadian government to end the needless slaughter of harp and hooded seals is gaining momentum in Congress. We need your help to encourage more Senators to support and co-sponsor this resolution. The resolution makes the following points:

Last year, the Canadian government announced that it would permit the clubbing and shooting of close to one million baby harp seals over the next three years, the highest quota for seal killing in Canada’s history.

This year’s hunt has already resulted in the deaths of over 320,000 seals mostly between the ages of twelve days and three months old.

The Canadian seal hunt is the largest commercial kill of marine mammals in the world.

Although the Canadian government, after taking veterinarians to view the hunt as part of an organized investigation, claims that most seals die instantly and are not skinned alive, in fact a study conducted by veterinarians taken to the hunt by the International Fund for Animal Welfare discovered that as many as 42 percent of the animals examined were likely skinned while alive and conscious.

The world community condemns the hunt, with initiatives to ban seal products under consideration in Italy and Belgium.

What You Can Do:
Contact your two U.S. Senators, and ask them to sign on to S. Res. 269, authored by Senator Carl Levin (D-MI), condemning the Canadian seal massacre. You can look up the names of your U.S. Senators at www.Congress.org, and you can contact them by calling 202-224-3121 or writing to:

The Honorable (Full Name)
U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510
You can find Senate co-sponsors to date at
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d108:SE00269:@@@P

Also, let the Canadian Tourism Commission know that you'll vacation elsewhere. You can email its members at www.travelcanada.ca/tc_redesign/app/en/ca/contact.do
Tell Canadian public officials that you think the seal hunt is unnecessary and inhumane and that you plan to spend your tourist dollars elsewhere. Contact:

Ambassador Michael F. Kergin
Canadian Embassy
501 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20001
202.682.1740
202.682.7678 fax

Prime Minister Paul Martin
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2
Canada
613.941.6900 fax
pm@pm.gc.ca 

The Honourable Geoff Regan
House of Commons
Minister, Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Parliament Buildings, Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
Canada
Min@dfo-mpo.gc.ca 

Be sure to include your postal and email addresses in all of your letters. Thank you for writing on behalf of the seals and thanks to HSUS and IFAW for sharing information for this action alert.

Go on to This Story Is For The Birds
Return to 23 May 2004 Issue
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