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"Don't Wait for the Olympics!" Friends of Animals Tells Tourists, "Boycott Canada Now, 'Til Seal Hunt Stops"

April 10, 2006 | Seals

For Immediate Release: 10 April 2006
Contact: Priscilla Feral, President
Tel: 203.656.1522

Darien, Conn., U.S.
"“ With Canada preparing to go full-speed ahead on its annual seal hunt, Friends of Animals today unveiled an international tourism boycott to press the Canadian government to stop the kill.

Friends of Animals president Priscilla Feral states:

"We ask people everywhere to avoid travel to Canada until its government stops this miserable seal slaughter. The government sets the kill quotas. Government funds assist the kill. These resources must be redirected to build a real economic foundation for Canada's coastal residents.

"Don't wait for the Olympics: Stay away and end this now."

The Canadian Institute for Business and the Environment reports that over $20 million in Canadian federal dollars supported seal processing between 1995 and 2001. The funds also maintain plants, cover ice-breaking support, and sustain research and marketing for seal products. In short, the seal-killing industry is propped up.

The World Tourism Organization ranks Canada among the world's top dozen travel destinations. It attracted 20 million tourists in 2002, but by 2004 was down to about 19 million.[1] To boost the industry, Ottawa spent $78 million last year on the Canadian Tourism Bureau.[2] "Obviously," Priscilla Feral stated, "Tourism, which generates tens of billions each year, is vital in a way the heavily subsidized, $16.5 million seal-pelt business is not."

Adds Feral, "Effects on the Royal Canadian Pacific Railroad, cruise lines stopping in Canada, and hotels and attractions from Niagara Falls to Calgary will ripple throughout the economy."

The boycott will place emphasis on Canada's top visitor markets -- people from the United States, Britain, France, Germany, and Australia. As hundreds of thousands work in the travel sector, the boycott will impact the Canadian people. But Canada's populace, after all, must be moved to hold its own government accountable.

Friends of Animals called on environmentalists, students, animal advocacy groups, and people on the streets to support the boycott. Says Feral: "Groups have documented and monitored the kill for too long. Forget marine mammal regulations and pretending that enforcement can make it humane. No matter how many seals are killed, it's immoral. Dying is one by one."

Once this killing ends, the group will avidly support ecologically sound travel.

"Seal watching and ecotours, launched in the 1980s through businesses such as Habitat Adventures and Travel Wild Expeditions, are a much better bet to address the province's 15% jobless rate," said Feral. "That was proven when the whale- killing communities adjusted their economy. We have and will support careful, prudent ecotourism."

Likewise, the Green Party of Canada believes seal watching excursions would be better for the economy and the ecology of the East coast.[3]

The Green Party notes that Europeans arrived on the continent to find about 24 million harp seals living in balance with so many fish that their abundance could impede the passage of ships. Today, less than five million harp seals remain, and the cod are gone.

The Green Party has called for an end to federal support for the kill in no uncertain terms. Its leader, Jim Harris, stated it's high time to "develop sustainable jobs that will bring Newfoundland and Labrador international praise."

Friends of Animals, headquartered in Darien, Connecticut, has been a global leader in animal rights advocacy since 1957.

Footnotes

  1. Recent (2005) data available.
  2. Catherine Porter, "Big-Spending Tourists Shun Toronto," Toronto Star (2 Feb. 2006)
  3. Information on the Green Party of Canada and its opposition to the seal kill is available through: info@greenparty.ca

Comments

I already do not buy anything from Canada nor would I ever go there. I was about to buy something the other day but when I saw made in Canada I immediately threw it down and changed my mind. I hope others follow and this. Seal hunt is just plain Cruelty to Animals. We all know that and its completely, I said COMPLETELY Unnecessary! Its all greed and money.

Get a real job and start contributing to Canada. [ Blog editors' note: (1) Got one, and (2) No thanks.]

MJ you have already used canadian products as soon as you got up this morning to the time you go to bed. The phone, zipper, wheat you name it made in Canada. The seal hunt isn't Cruelty to animals. If you actually did some reasearch you would know. [Blog editors' note: Funny how these arguments sound much like the ones we hear from Alaska's wolf-shooting brigade. The seal massacre is an abomination. It's a pity you don't understand why. ]

Boycott Canada until they put an end to this barbaric seal hunt! it breaks my heart everytime this time of year comes around and the seal hunt begins. yesterday (4/12/06) the kill quota was 234,000 seals!! that is a disgusting amount of babies that have died in this hunt in ONE DAY!! Please, please boycott Canada....they need to stop this hunt! it is one of the worse massacres of animals i have ever heard of. these baby harp seals are just that, babies, some of them only 3 weeks old...this is horrible! it must stop now!! leave the seals alone to live in peace free from being murdered like this. thank you.

I applaud your efforts. And I truly believe the Gov't of Canada will feel the effects of a drop in tourism! I am signing any petition I can find, and am making sure my feelings are known about this senseless slaugher of the seals. Let's keep fighting together, this has to stop! [Blog editors' note: Many thanks for this encouragement. Petition-signing is easy, but it will have no effect on changing public policy, and government subsidies. An economic boycott of Canada's yearly $18 billion tourism industry will deliver a message they can understand.

THAT'S THE WAY YOU DO IT. INNOVATIVE, REWARDING. THANK YOU VERY MUCH INDEED. I SHALL FORWARD TO THE UNIVERSE.

Sorry Tim, I DID research, i think you need to do some research! Though it may be too late. Killers of innocent animals are just killers! We all know where they belong! Also I'm sorry, but your evaluation that I use Canadian products as soon as I get up is the most insane thing I have ever heard. BUT look where its coming from!

I for one will be boycotting all that comes from Canada,until the slaughter of the Harp seals has ended and for good! I say hit' em in the pocketbook and Boycott Canadian (products) as well as no vacations to their Country. I feel sorry for those who feel that it is in the best interest,..What to murder and slaughter an innocent baby seal, I think Not! Just my 2 cents worth!!

Well, its that time of year again for you Canadians. And I find myself once again voicing my outrage at your so called "nesessary" "Seal Hunt"! How long do you need to read things from Americans and Canadians who are totally against this hunt before you stop killing these innocent seals? You fishermen in Canada seem to think its nesessary, when it has been proven that it is isnt. I think you just LIKE KILLING AND VIOLENCE! Leave the seals alone, for the sake of animal lovers everywhere. I speak for the animals because they cannot soeak for themselves. I boycott Canada and every place that buys seafood from them!!

Any so-called human being who can look me in the eye and tell me that bashing a baby seal in the head numerous times, watching it bleed, scream with pain as it is skinned alive and its grieving mother watches, suffering an extremely long and painful death, is humane, is a seriously disturbed creature (definitely not possessing a single human quality, thus the use of the work creature). If you don't feel an umbilical connection with the earth and all animals and living things on the planet, then you have not evolved and are not civilized at all! I will boycott ALL Canadian products nor will I consider traveling to Canada as well as the products of any country indulging in the torture of living animals. It is so ironic that torture is such an issue in the world these days? Animals have a central nervous system just like humans. Have we forgotten that we are just one chromosome away from the apes? "The human race is a failed species." Carl Sagan

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