Talk Back: Seal It

By on May 8, 2009 with 0 Comments By Wayne Pacelle

The world continues to speak, and speak unabashedly, about the cruelty of Canada’s seal slaughter. Last night, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution condemning the slaughter. This action in Congress comes just days after the European Union and its 27 nations slammed the door shut on the import of seal skins. A few weeks ago, Russia’s government put an end to its seal slaughter. Increasingly, Canada stands alone in not only participating in large-scale seal killing but also in defending it.

Baby seal in Atlantic Canada
© Nigel Barker

The fact is, the government of Canada has been propping up this commercial seal killing with a range of subsidies for a long time—everything from breaking ice for the sealers to clear a path for the seal boats, to diplomatic efforts to block other nations from closing markets, to actual subsidies for seal processing plants. Canadian lawmakers even suggested dressing their Olympic team in seal fur for the 2010 Winter Games.

If this were just a case of the marketplace at work, the seal slaughter would have ended long ago. It exists only because a handful of government officials, using the tax dollars of Canada’s citizens, keep it alive. Their shameful behavior must stop.

Many of you commented on the hunt, and today, I wanted to post some of your thoughts.

Congratulations to the HSUS and all who worked so diligently on this campaign. This is the best news I've heard all year! Progress CAN be made, albeit slowly. This is a devastating blow to a horribly cruel industry that will one day, with more support, be obsolete. —Jaime Smith

Magnifique is correct! Thank you for all you have done to help stop the brutal slaughtering of those beautiful baby seals! I have tried to assist you and all your teams working against this, and maybe even one individual, such as myself, helped make this EU ban happen. You guys must be so overjoyed and we are proud of you and all your efforts! Job well done! Most sincere respect! —Cordelia L. Jones

God bless the HSUS and all those that work so hard for the protection of all creatures great and small. What a euphoric feeling knowing I helped slightly with monthly donations and these precious baby seals will be able to live their life. I only wish I could afford to give more to the many causes you stand for. —Jeanette Walsh

As a Canadian voter and taxpayer, I am overjoyed at the news! This has been a long time coming and I'm so proud of every group and individual who has participated in stopping this slaughter. Today I wrote to our Prime Minister, Minister of Fisheries and other politicians to encourage them to support this ban and direct my hard-earned tax dollars to support the families who will be affected. I would gladly DONATE my tax dollars to keep them OFF the ice. Our politicians will lose my next vote if they try to appeal this decision. Thanks Wayne and Rebecca for the extra push! —Nancy Ball

How brave you all are, especially Rebecca, having endured the heinous visuals and sounds related to the brutal massacres of the sweet, innocent seals over the years. I can only imagine how close this victory is to her heart … and all the others who've witnessed such cruelty. Bravo! —Deedee D.

I had tears of joy flowing down my face this morning when I read the EU ban on seal products. Since I was a young girl I prayed this would end. I will never forget the horror I felt at that time for these magnificent seals when I saw what happened to them. I remember just crying my heart out and my mother trying to comfort me. Now I am ecstatic this will end. Ms. Rebecca, your seal team, HSI and HSUS, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for all of your hard work to save our beautiful seals! I look forward to next year when all of you are on the ice floes and playing with the baby seals once again. I am so grateful to ALL of you and may God bless all of you and the seals too! —Karen Wagner

I am a member of the Humane Society International and I got the good news a few days ago. This is brilliant news and makes all my emails and calls to my European Parliament members all the more worthwhile. Now I will have to email them again thanking them for voting to ban the seal trade. Hopefully this will ring the end to this despicable trade for good. —Helen Warner, UK

There have been times when I have written you guys, venting I felt you haven't done enough on one issue or another, but not this time. From me and if I may speak for the seals—thank YOU!!! It's one of those rewarding "money well spent" moments!!! Thanks again. —Pat Ginsbach

I commend the EU on taking this stand. Never has such a large nail been hammered into the coffin. The end is in sight to this vicious, cruel slaughter and not a moment too soon. To the millions of seals that have been slaughtered over the decades my heart goes out to you, my tears still fall but hopefully your death has not been in vain. A suggestion, maybe the Canadian government could look at setting up an ecotourism industry in this area at this time of the year so that people can go out to the ice floes and experience the wonder and beauty of this nursery. Maybe they could look into retraining of the fishermen to promote this as a viable industry. It has been done in other regions of the world, why not pick it up and run with it in Canada. I would imagine that it would bring more money into the region (the government keeps on using this worn-out excuse to keep the slaughter going, when the rest of the world has done the math and knows better!). Just a thought. Well done everyone. —Jenny

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I did not have a clue what these animals were going through before. For the past couple months, I would cry when watching what you've documented on the innocent seal pups. Because you did not give up on your effort in providing these facts, I've learned to value wildlife and see the importance of their existence. I cannot say how joyful I am to have heard great news that the EU banned their seal imports. You made a difference for these seal pups and taught me to appreciate every living creature on earth. You brought tears into my eyes because of this huge victory. Thank you so much for doing what you do. —Kiwi

Humane Society International, Wildlife/Marine Mammals

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