Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The pictures don't lie

Note that only the skin is taken. The rest of the animal is discarded on the ice. Photo courtesy of Nigel Barker.

I received an email today from Sue Hirsch, an animal advocate who works tirelessly for the ProtectSeals campaign. She was in tears over the news coming out of Ottawa today.

Peaceful observers of the commercial hunt released footage documenting extreme cruelty to baby harp seals slaughtered this month and last off Canada's East Coast. They recorded apparent violations of the Marine Mammal Regulations, which fall under the Fisheries Act.

The evidence was shown at a press conference on Tuesday held by Humane Society International's Canadian branch and Senator Mac Harb, the first Canadian parliamentarian to introduce a bill to end the seal hunt. The legislation has come to be known as the Harb Seal Bill.

"This is not a viable industry," said Harb, whose office has received more than 30,000 emails from people who are outraged about the hunt.

"The cruelty we filmed this year proves that the slaughter is as cruel and inhumane it has always been," said Rebecca Aldworth, director of HSI Canada. "We filmed seals being shot repeatedly in open water, seals cut open as they appeared to respond to pain, injured seals left to suffer on the ice, and wounded seals allowed to escape beneath the water's surface where they endured a slow and painful death. It's time the Canadian government ends this cruelty by buying back the sealing licenses."

Veterinarians have repeatedly condemned the hunt as inherently inhumane.

"Despite its best efforts, the Canadian government simply cannot regulate a commercial activity that is carried out in such dangerous conditions in such a short time frame," Harb said. "The derby style of the commercial hunt means it will never be humane, and given the economic realities of the cost of the hunt and the lack of markets for luxury seal fur, it will never be profitable either. I have witnessed with my own eyes the dangerous conditions and the shocking brutality of the hunt. The majority of Canadians want the commercial seal hunt stopped for good."

Photo courtesy of Nigel Barker.

Do you want to help save baby seals?
Try these links to action:



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