Dori Edwards, Global Animal
The Canadian Government allows hunters to club or shoot baby seals and skin them for their fur in order to meet its increasing demand. And within the past five years, Canada’s commercial seal hunt has killed nearly one million seals—97 percent of which were younger than three months old.
The Humane Society of the United States has made it their mission to end this mass slaughter and is encouraging consumers, chefs, and restaurants to join the Protect Seals Boycott. As of November, over 6,000 establishments have taken a stand to refuse the use of Canadian imported seafood, including Iron Chefs Cat Cora and Mario Batali as well as celebrities such as Kesha and Paul McCartney.
“When I first found out about the commercial seal slaughter in Canada, I was shocked and disgusted,” stated Cora. She encourages “chefs to focus their seafood purchasing on seafood that isn’t caught by fishermen who kill baby seals.”
According to HSUS, “These establishments are standing together and sending a strong message to Canada’s fishing industry that as long as it participates in and advocates for the annual seal slaughter, the industry will find itself shut out from sales to an ever growing number of American grocery and restaurant companies.”
Consumers can also participate in the boycott by becoming aware of which restaurants have signed the Protect Seals Pledge. Persons can locate these businesses on the HSUS new iphone app available at: humanesociety.org/sealapp.
The HSUS and the Humane Society International/Canada are calling for a federal sealing industry buyout – “a plan under which sealers would be compensated for their licenses, and additional funds invested in economic alternatives in the communities involved.” In 2010, an Ipsos Reid poll found at least half of Newfoundland’s fisherman support this move.
HSUS marine wildlife director Kathryn Kullberg reported that “The end of the Canadian seal slaughter is finally in sight.”
Help support the HSUS and other animal activists’ fight for the seals by signing the petition encouraging a federal buyout.