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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 will not buy anything made in Canada nor will I visit due to the massacre of seals. I consider Canada to be an uncaring and barbaric place and want nothing to do with it. They will lose plenty of tourist and revenue from caring people like us due to this act of violence.

I will continue to boycott buying Canadian products and traveling to the Canadian Provinces until the barbaric, senseless slaughter of harp seals is stopped. Maybe if we stopped overfishing in our oceans and allow the fish populations to rebound than there would be less blame placed upon wild animals. It amazes me that before humans started to exploit natural resources there were no problems with overpopulation or overpredation in the ecosystem. Once man steps in and "rapes" the Earth of all its resources, then there is a problem. It has always been easier to place the blame on someone or something else than to look at our spending/consumption habits and change things that way. The seal massacre supporters sound just like the supporters of aerial shooting of Alaskan wolves. Be a real human being and realize that man's overconsumptive and exploitive habits are the main cause of reduced fish populations, etc.

I will continue my boycott of anything Canadian. Even though I live only 3 hours from the Canadian border, I would never vacation there due to their refusal to stop killing seals. I also educate my friends, relatives and acquaintances about the seal slaughter (I omit the word hunt-this is not a hunt it is a massacre of baby seals in the name of greed). I totally agree with upping the ante against Canada - petition signing and letter writing has not stopped the insanity of the criminals perpetrating the killing. Reminder: check the labels on many of the pet products you buy...many are from Canada (eg., kitty litter, grass for cats).

Scary to think what this world will be like in 100 years...we are killing precious living creatures like the little seals, we chop down the forests, we pollute, we are destroying the beauty of Earth. Please, please let's begin to make changes by ending the terror of precious baby seals.

I haven't visited Canada in many years because of their seal killing. This is a terrible practice. I can't believe how any civilized people can do this.

Please stop this unneccessary killing. We can make a living in other less harmful and hurtful ways. Don't visit CANADA - they do not work with us.

I feel as I always have that the seal hunting of seals should stop and NOW!!! We plan to never come to Canada as long as this is going on. We mean this!!! What a cruel thing to do for a supposedly civilized country as you say you have. Carol Koeneke

Canada needs our tourist/consumer dollars.....with hold them until they stop .

The best way to encourage the general population to voice opposition and act to stop this horrid practice is to mount a visual and auditory campaign. How ANYONE could view the actual murder-by-clubbing and NOT oppose this act by action speaks directly to man's inhumanity, ambivalence and greed. Once a person looks into those soulful baby eyes AND hears their cries, the emotion evoked should stir even the dead. Sadly, those who could easily end this murder MUST be dead to all but the almighty dollar and misguided tradition. How (human) it is to club one of these truly totally defenseless babies to death!

I go to canada every other year of vacation. I am sorry it took me so long to realize I should have boycoted visiting there long before this. It is horrible that you still allow this monsterous seal killing. I also used to buy boots and my jackets "made in canada" I will also stop purchasing anything made in canada, just like I buy NOTHING made in china, until the seal hunts no longer exist..................

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