As a proud Canadian, I can’t understand why the Canadian government continues to defend the annual commercial slaughter of seals for their fur. Even as the international market for seal fur and other products has dried up, the government spends millions of taxpayer dollars every year to keep the killing going. Less than 25 per cent of the seal quota was met this year, and that percentage would be far lower if Newfoundland hadn’t bailed out the industry for $3.6 million (for a second year). The massive spring slaughter is heartbreakingly cruel. Helpless seals, just weeks old, are shot or beaten to death by sealers. In a video that I narrated for my friends at PETA, you can see a bloody seal gurgling after being left to die by a sealer and a sealer bludgeoning two seals in quick succession.
Fortunately, compassionate people around the world want nothing to do with this bloody business, and the end is in sight.
Russia—which had been importing 95 per cent of Canadian seal pelts—has banned seal fur, as have the European Union (EU), Mexico, Taiwan, and the U.S. Earlier this year, the EU issued a ruling that upholds its ban on seal fur, and the only remaining challenge to that ban rests with the World Trade Organization (WTO). I’m happy to say that things are not looking good for the sealing industry. At the WTO hearings, which PETA attended, Canadian representatives embarrassed themselves by trying to argue that seals are threatening cod populations—even though seals and codfish have coexisted for millennia. Marine biologists say that decades of reckless overfishing are really to blame for the decline in cod populations. In the end, the representatives succeeded only in calling attention to the government’s own marine mismanagement and further staining the reputation of our beautiful country!
The main reason why Canada’s lawmakers don’t speak out against the barbaric seal slaughter is because the region where it takes place has several swing seats in Parliament—and political parties want to control them. But just because our elected officials are silent on this issue doesn’t mean that we should be. Please join me and PETA in telling Canadian officials that it’s time to stop killing seals for their fur and to push for a practical exit strategy: a government buyout of the sealing industry. Then use your Facebook, Twitter, or other social-media accounts to help spread the word and get even more people involved. Let’s make this year’s seal slaughter the last!
~ By Emmanuelle Vaugier