The largest commercial slaughter of marine mammals on the planet has begun in Canada.
By the end of the hunt, more than 320,000 seals are expected to be clubbed or shot to death by fishermen who hunt seals off-season to sell their skins. Almost all of their victims will be babies Â— some as young as 12 days old.
But there is new hope on the ice. Canada has a new Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, and a new party in power. With enough public support, they may consider ending this terrible hunt forever.
Sign this petition now and send it anyone who cares about protecting the lives of Canada's seals.
Dear Prime Minister Harper,
In late March, the world will be watching as Canadian fishermen begin the largest commercial slaughter of marine mammals in the world on the ice off Newfoundland and Labrador. If the hunt is anything like last year’s, more than 300,000 baby seals will be clubbed or shot to death for their fur -- some of them as young as 12 days of age. Last year, a shocking 98.5% of the seals killed were babies two months of age or younger.
Footage taken during the 2005 hunt was appalling: Pups were left to choke on their own blood for up to 90 minutes and were cut open as they struggled. It’s no surprise that there has been an international backlash against the hunt, with Italy and Mexico only the latest countries to ban the import of seal products. Earlier this year, the Greenland government announced its decision to stop all imports of Canadian seal skins –- just 23 hours after The HSUS’s 2005 seal hunt footage was broadcast on national television.
Most Canadians surveyed oppose the seal hunt, but previous federal administrations have refused to stop it -- even though the hunt brings in very little money, less than 1% of Newfoundland's gross domestic product and just 2% of its fishery. In reality, the hunt provides only a few thousand fishermen with a tiny fraction of their annual incomes. Canada can afford to end the hunt, and so can the fishermen who conduct it.
An ongoing boycott of Canadian seafood products is already jeopardizing the primary income of those fishermen. More than 220,000 individuals have already pledged to boycott Canadian seafood, and more are joining the boycott every day. Since the launch of the boycott, the number of restaurants and seafood-related businesses that have pledged to limit or eliminate their purchases of Canadian seafood has grown to more than 400.
Many American seafood distributors have chosen to boycott Canadian snow crabs because the product accounts for half of the landed value of Newfoundland’s fishery. Since the launch of the Canadian seafood boycott, the value of Canadian snow crab exports to the United States has dropped by more than $150 million.
Please take action to protect Canada’s fishing industry and international reputation. End a cruel hunt that brings in little money and inflicts such pain to so many baby seals.