End the commercial seal slaughter in Canada!

Each year, the Canadian government authorizes commercial sealers from Atlantic Canada to kill hundreds of thousands of baby seals. Almost all the seals killed are pups are under three months old.

The world wants the commercial seal slaughter to end. More than 36 countries — including the United States, the European Union nations, Russia, and Switzerland — have banned commercial, non-aboriginal trade in seal products. Polls show that most Canadians support an end to commercial sealing and a fair transition program for commercial sealers.

Please ask Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to end the slaughter once and for all.

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,

I am writing to ask for your help in ending the Atlantic Canadian commercial seal slaughter.

Every year, horrible suffering is documented during the slaughter, including commercial sealers leaving conscious, wounded baby seals to suffer in agony, impaling them on metal hooks, dragging them across the ice and cutting them open. Seal pups that have been shot and injured often escape into the water, where they die slowly and are never recovered. Veterinarians say the harsh remote physical environment, in which the slaughter occurs, prevents an effective application of humane killing methods, making the commercial seal hunt inherently inhumane.

More than 36 countries, including the United States, the European Union nations, Russia and Switzerland have banned commercial, non-aboriginal trade in seal products. The Atlantic Canadian commercial seal slaughter continues today because of the millions of dollars of federal and provincial subsidies the industry receives. Yet polls consistently show the majority of Canadians support ending the commercial seal hunt and providing a fair transition program to sealers. There is even broad support for a sealing industry buyout among commercial sealers in Newfoundland.

Your party claims to care about the well-being of Atlantic Canadian coastal communities. But keeping the commercial seal hunt on artificial life support does nothing to create sustainable jobs for future generations. In contrast, an investment in the development of marine ecotourism could generate real opportunities in these regions.

Two years ago, you made headlines when you responded to a question about progressive policies by stating, "it's 2015." Well now, it is 2017. The time has come - please help Canada move beyond commercial sealing.

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