Call for international help against Seal Trade in Taiwan

Each year, thousands of seasonal workers in Canada flock to the ice floes in late March and early April to kill 300,000 young seals. The seals are clubbed to death using a hakapik, a club with a hook and hammerhead. Seals are often clubbed many times before they are dead, and there is evidence of some being skinned alive. In spite of legislative guidelines laid down by the Canadian authorities on seal hunting, extreme environmental conditions such as unstable ice floes, strong wind, poor vision, makes humane killing of seals impossible.

In addition to clubbing, hunters use rifles to shoot from a distance of 50 meters or more. Due to the extreme weather conditions, the seals are often wounded rather than killed instantaneously. Some of these wounded seals make their way back into the ocean, bleeding, and die in a prolonged, painful manner. 

In Canada, millions of Harp seals, many who are only a few weeks old, are hunted for seal products in demand from Asia. In China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and other places, commercials tell people that taking seal oil can help reduce their chance of developing Cardiovascular Disease.  
In fact, marine mammals and fish used for their Omega-3 is not only expensive, it may also contain harmful heavy metals such as mercury in the human body, especially tuna, swordfish and marine mammals. The visceral fat contains dangerous concentrations of mercury. Mercury and its compounds (such as methyl mercury), will accumulate in the brain from a variety of negative effects, such as manic depression, trembling, visual impairment, memory loss, cardiovascular problems, heart palpitations and heart disease (also harmful to the thyroid and the liver, and will cause chapped hands and feet, itching and redness).  Embryo, infants and children are the most likely victims of Mercury because their nervous system is sill developing and also very sensitive.

Manufacturers claim that the North Atlantic seals meat and oil are not contaminated,without considering the fact that seals are world-traveling migrate animals. The study also confirmed that in Canada and some parts of Greenland, the polar body seals and beluga whales' mercury concentration has increased by 2-4 times in the past 25 years. The European Environment Agency group and other international research groups report that the daily consumption of small amounts of seal meat or grease may still be down long-term accumulation in the body more than the standard value of the concentration of mercury. In comparison, Algea, flaxseed, walnuts, soybean, and wheat germ are cheapper and the safest source of Omega-3, especially Algea that can provide the form of omega 3 EPA & DHA.

The seal hunt has been defended and supported because it supposedly provides additional income for hard-hit communities in Canada's Atlantic region. However, in Newfoundland and Labrador, sealing accounts for less than half of one percent of the provincial GDP. Last year's 7 million dollar hunt divided among the 6,000 or so estimated active sealers averages to about $1,100 each, before deducting their expenses. While this is not an insignificant sum, it comes at a much higher cost to our country and to the individuals involved. The risks and costs of the commercial hunt and its declining financial benefits render it useless as an economic lifeboat for sealers. There are also some fishing industry lobby groups try to claim that seals must be culled to protect fish stocks. In truth, the scientific community agrees that the true cause of the depletion of fish stocks off Canada's East Coast is human over-fishing.

Due to the cruel nature of seal hunt, the United States, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Austria, Croatia, Slovenia, Germany, Switzerland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Mexico, and Panama have either banned seal product trade or have made moves to do so.%u3002 The current president of the United States of America has condemned the inhumanity of the Canadian seal hunt during his senatorial duties, and claimed to support the ban on seal products in the US. 

As many countries implement the program to halt the trade of seal products, Asia will become the main consumption area. Taiwan, a pivot of Greater China area's economic and cultural plays, plays an important role in the expenditure of seal products that could prove very influential in Asia. 

Taiwan is ranked the second largest seal meat importing country. Seal products are not only available in many chain stores, but these sellers exaggerate the benefit of seal oil. They do not mention mercury concerns from seal oil, and even ignore the process that to access these products is extremely cruel. We also can find that many seals products made in Taiwan come from raw materials that were imported from Canada.
Now, many countries have boycotted the seal products; meanwhile, these seals products, which are made in Taiwan, caused great damage of Taiwan's international image seriously.

Please refuse to buy any fur and other seal related products, such as seal oil. It will only take you a few seconds to sign the petition then navigate to Animosa.org to send this letter to President Ma. We urge President Ma to announce a ban on commercial trade in seal products. Please use your unique position as the citizens of the world to fight for an end to this cruel slaughter.
Dear Prisident Ma,

I am writing to express my concern about the growing seal market in Taiwan. In Canada, millions of Harp seals, many who are only a few weeks old, are hunted for seal products in demand from Asia. In China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and other places, commercials tell people that taking seal oil can help reduce their chance of developing Cardiovascular Disease.  

In fact, marine mammals and fish used for their Omega-3 is not only expensive, it may also contain harmful heavy metals such as mercury in the human body, especially tuna, swordfish and marine mammals. The visceral fat contains dangerous concentrations of mercury. Mercury and its compounds (such as methyl mercury), will accumulate in the brain from a variety of negative effects, such as manic depression, trembling, visual impairment, memory loss, cardiovascular problems, heart palpitations and heart disease (also harmful to the thyroid and the liver, and will cause chapped hands and feet, itching and redness).  Embryo, infants and children are the most likely victims of Mercury because their nervous system is sill developing and also very sensitive.

Manufacturers claim that the North Atlantic seals meat and oil are not contaminated,without considering the fact that seals are world-traveling migrate animals. The study also confirmed that in Canada and some parts of Greenland, the polar body seals and beluga whales' mercury concentration has increased by 2-4 times in the past 25 years. The European Environment Agency group and other international research groups report that the daily consumption of small amounts of seal meat or grease may still be down long-term accumulation in the body more than the standard value of the concentration of mercury. In comparison, Algea, flaxseed, walnuts, soybean, and wheat germ are cheapper and the safest source of Omega-3, especially Algea that can provide the form of omega 3 EPA & DHA.

Each year, thousands of seasonal workers in Canada flock to the ice floes in late March and early April to kill 300,000 young seals. The seals are clubbed to death using a hakapik, a club with a hook and hammerhead. Seals are often clubbed many times before they are dead, and there is evidence of some being skinned alive. In spite of legislative guidelines laid down by the Canadian authorities on seal hunting, extreme environmental conditions such as unstable ice floes, strong wind, poor vision, makes humane killing of seals impossible.

In addition to clubbing, hunters use rifles to shoot from a distance of 50 meters or more. Due to the extreme weather conditions, the seals are often wounded rather than killed instantaneously. Some of these wounded seals make their way back into the ocean, bleeding, and die in a prolonged, painful manner. 

Due to the cruel nature of seal hunt, the United States, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Austria, Croatia, Slovenia, Germany, Switzerland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Mexico, and Panama have either banned seal product trade or have made moves to do so.%u3002 The current president of the United States of America has condemned the inhumanity of the Canadian seal hunt during his senatorial duties, and claimed to support the ban on seal products in the US. 

As many countries implement the program to halt the trade of seal products, Asia will become the main consumption area. Taiwan, a pivot of Greater China area's economic and cultural plays, plays an important role in the expenditure of seal products that could prove very influential in Asia. 

Taiwan is ranked the second largest seal meat importing country. Seal products are not only available in many chain stores, but these sellers exaggerate the benefit of seal oil. They do not mention mercury concerns from seal oil, and even ignore the process that to access these products is extremely cruel. We also can find that many seals products made in Taiwan come from raw materials that were imported from Canada.

Now, many countries have boycotted the seal products; meanwhile, these seals products, which are made in Taiwan, caused great damage of Taiwan's international image seriously.

Please announce a ban on commercial trade in seal products in Taiwan. Please use your unique position as the leader of the free Greater China region to fight for an end to this cruel slaughter.
Sincerely,
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