Friday, March 03, 2006

Seal Hunt

I just want to cry. This upsets me so much every year. I remember when I was young I would see it on TV and I was horrified. I still am. I can't look at any more pictures.
Paul McCartney and his wife, Heather, were in the Maritimes today to bring this disgusting, shameful thing back into the spotlight. Good for them! Here's the report that was on Yahoo Canada.

"SOMEWHERE IN THE GULF OF ST. LAWRENCE (CP) - The annual seal hunt off the East Coast is a "stain on the character of the Canadian people," music legend Paul McCartney said Thursday as he and his wife Heather staged a high-profile, anti-hunt protest on barren ice floes in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

The megastar couple called on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to end the centuries-old commercial slaughter by buying back hunters' licences and promoting eco-tourism instead.
"We don't want to see the local people suffer," McCartney said after the couple got on their bellies to get a close-up look at newborn harp seals sprawled on an ice pan about 20 kilometres northwest of the Iles de la Madeleine.
"But, from what we hear, it is quite a small amount of their annual revenue and this could be easily sorted out by the Canadian government, if they care to do it."
Under partly cloudy skies, the McCartneys travelled by small plane from Charlottetown to Iles de la Madeleine, 160 kilometres to the northeast of Prince Edward Island. They then boarded a helicopter and flew to the ice floes.
Dressed in bright orange survival suits, the former Beatle and his wife posed for photos with a snow-white, newborn harp seal as a media entourage of about three dozen looked on.
"We're calling upon Stephen Harper and the government to consider looking at this problem . . . in the light of the international objections," McCartney said.
"Canada is known as a great nation . . . But this is something that leaves a stain on the character of the Canadian people and we don't think that's right. I don't think the vast amount of Canadians think that's right."
The most recent figures suggest the industry, which started in the 1700s, was worth between $15 million and $20 million annually and employed up to 10,000 people, most of them in Newfoundland. Supporters of the hunt argue that income from the harvest is vitally needed in remote communities with few other economic opportunities.
The McCartneys, longtime animal rights activists, noted the Canadian government had approved a three-year management plan in 2003 that set the total quota for harp seals at 975,000 - a move that prompted renewed outrage among conservation groups.
Thursday's protest was organized by the Humane Society of the United States and the British-based group, Respect for Animals.
"I've observed the seal hunt at close range for seven years," Rebecca Aldworth, director of Canadian wildlife issues for the Humane Society of the United States, said in a statement.
"I routinely witness conscious seals dragged across the ice with boat hooks, wounded seals left to choke on their own blood, and seals being skinned alive. The commercial seal hunt is inherently cruel. It is a national disgrace."
The McCartneys cited a 2001 independent veterinarian report that concluded close to half of the seals killed were likely still conscious when skinned.
The federal Fisheries Department says it has an independent report that suggests otherwise.
"Sometimes a seal may appear to be moving after it has been killed; however seals have a swimming reflex that is active - even after death," the department says on its website.
"This reflex gives the false impression that the animal is still alive when it is clearly dead."
The youngest harp seals, known as whitecoats, cannot be killed until they lose their white fur. That can happen in as little as 12 days. But most of the harp seals taken are about 25 days old, the Fisheries Department says.
The department has also insisted Canadians support Ottawa's policies, citing a February 2005 Ipsos-Reid poll that concluded 60 per cent of those surveyed were in favour of a "responsible hunt."
The date for the start of this year's hunt has yet to be set, though it usually starts in late March. The 2006 quota is also under review."

Write or e-mail your MP, The Honourable Loyola Hearn, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, ( The Prime Minister, Stephen Harper ( Sign every petition you can and end this Canadian disgrace! You can start here.

Do a google search for more sites with petitions to sign. I'm sorry I can't post more. I'm scared to open up any more links for fear of what I might see.


~go veg said...

Thanks for posting about this. I HATE the seal hunt, and I think people that are involved with it are heartless.

Go Veg and Boycott Fur!!

Harmonia said...

Hi carrie! You already know my thoughts! I was thinking of you earlier today when I heard about Paul & Heather's visit.

On a lighter note...I have posted some more food pics!

Harmonia said...

I watched Larry King LIVE last night! Interesting show. (I missed the first 20 minutes though)

Thanks for the visit and the comments...can't wait to see those recipes when you have time. Up until yesterday I didn't have a lot myself. I didn't do many of the weekly memes (only the new midweek munchies one)

Guenter said...

During their recent visit to Canada, the McCartneys engaged in illegal activities, but compassionate Canadian authorities will not charge the clueless couple

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McCartneys won't be charged
Singer and wife illegally touched harp seal pup

Graeme Hamilton, National Post, Saturday, March 04, 2006

Federal fisheries officers have decided against charging former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney and his wife even though their petting and poking of a seal pup off the Magdalen Islands on Thursday was technically illegal.

Canada's Marine Mammal Regulations state: "No person shall disturb a marine mammal except when fishing for marine mammals under the authority of these regulations."

Photographs show Sir Paul and his wife, Heather, patting a white-coated seal pup as they visited the ice floes to protest against the Canadian seal hunt. At one point, the pup took exception to Mrs. McCartney's caresses and snapped at her.

Roger Simon, area director for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in the Magdalen Islands, said the offence was so minor it does not warrant taking the couple to court.

"It's almost like saying you're going 51 kilometres in a 50-kilometre zone," Mr. Simon said.

"If a fishery officer had been present, something like a warning would have probably been issued, saying, 'Well, if these pups are still nursing, we suggest that you don't pet them -- just watch them.' "

A court would have to be shown that the seal had been harmed by the pop star and his wife, Mr. Simon said, and research has shown casual interaction with humans does no lasting damage to young seals.

"She may have bothered [the pup] but I don't think she harmed him," he said, adding that Canada has better uses of its tax dollars than a McCartney trial.

"When disturbance is of such a minor nature, you wouldn't bring someone to court on something like this," he said. "Somebody would say that the Canadian government and the Canadian taxpayers must have better things to do than haul Paul McCartney into court because he touched a seal."

Mr. Simon said Mrs. McCartney was fortunate it was a harp seal pup she stroked and not a grey seal. "The pup you saw yesterday that snapped doesn't even have any teeth," he said. "A grey seal would probably still be grabbing on to her nose. They're a bigger, more vicious animal."

After 20 years working with seals, Mr. Simon has seen a lot of celebrities come and go. "Last year we had MacGyver [televison actor Richard Dean Anderson], we had Loretta Swift [Hot Lips Houlihan from television's M*A*S*H*] one year. One year we had Bobby Kennedy, Jr.," he said. But he was particularly unimpressed with Sir Paul's understanding of the seal hunt. He expected the ex-Beatle would be out of his league in his televised debate with Danny Williams, the Newfoundland Premier.

"Poor Paul, in a debate, would be hard-pressed because he doesn't know very much about the subject," Mr. Simon said. As an example, he noted that Sir Paul suggested to local reporters that the seal hunt be replaced by whale-watching tours. "We're surrounded by ice, and this isn't a whale area. This is where whales pass but never stop, so it wasn't very well-documented or researched," Mr. Simon said.

He called Sir Paul's seal-hunt knowledge "a crash-course, HSUS brainwashing thing." The HSUS is the Humane Society of the United States, which organized the McCartneys' visit.


Prohibitions (7)

No person shall disturb a marine mammal except when fishing for marine mammals under the authority of these regulations.

Carrie™ said...

It's not OK to touch them, but it's OK to beat their brains out? Some of these "regulations" are a fucking joke.

Nicole said...

Hi All~ is specifically designed to increase awareness and
help fight the annual Canadian commercial seal hunt, which is, as you might
know, the largest mass slaughter of marine mammals in the world. And as you
also might know, unfortunately this year's total allowable catch has been
raised to 325,000 seal pups shot or clubbed for their pelts (and some
skinned while still alive), starting at the very young age of only two
weeks. You'll see that explains several easy ways to
help stop this annual baby seal hunt, including signing petitions to Prime
Ministers and Senators, and simply emailing our friends to help spread the

If you could please help spread the word, and add the link to your website, I believe it will help make a
difference --

Thank you very much in advance for spreading the word, and for sharing this info!