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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

The greed of a large part of the huan race never ceases to amaze me! How anyone with half a brain and thought process can stand there and beat a precious baby seal over the head, hearing it scream in agony, crying for it's Momma, and live with themselves is way beyond me! How in the world do they look at themselves in the mirror? I for one now look at labels very closely to make sure any product I buy is no made in that barbaric ice hearted place. It all boils down to simply greed for the money they make over the coats of those babies! How sickening. Mankind seems to have this suicide mission by killing everything on this earth! Everything. OUr wild animals, out domesticated animals, our trees, naturla resources, man, I could go on and on! No wonder God hasn't destroyed the human race again because we are doing it ourselves this time!

When I look into the eyes of any animal, including these precious baby harp seals and their moms, I remember that their innate, Creator-given innocence can never be killed off. And neither can our own, though many of us do a thorough job of obscuring our innocence with heartlessness. I'm on board the boycott of Canada, underlining my actions with a powerful prayer of spiritual protest against the seeming might of evil. A quote I like from the book Science and Health reads: "Innocence and Truth overcome guilt and error." This assures me that right (right thinking, right feeling, right acting) always rules in the long run.

Would you want someone doing that to your pet OR your child OR your grandchild? There's no difference...they are living breathing matter. They feel, they think, they hurt. How can any of you politically correct ... go along with this abomination, sleep easy at nite, think nothing of it yet scowl at the news when you hear of Pedophiles preying on helpless children or young kids and teenagers being shot and murdered every day? What is it that you think you know? Do you have selective emotions? You turn it on and off at will?! We're not all bleeding hearts. We just know right from wrong! And you use excuses to murder deer and wildlife cos they're overpopulating...well STOP crowding them out of their world by burying civilization in new condos and developments. Where else are these animals to go? What would (we) do if we were suddenly chased out of the only world and safe have WE know? It's survival. And man is supposed to be the Intelligent being?? You could've fooled me! No wonder our world is falling apart all around us! ... We slaughter animals because it's convenient. Just remember you Reep what you sow!

Hi, So I am a little confused as to why boycotting Canada is a useful measure in this case. To be consistent and boycott every country which has animal rights issues, would we not have to never go anywhere? do or buy anything? It seems that for some reason seals, because they are cute or whatever, have been given priority over the other billion + farm animals who are slaughtered every year, all over the world. .. [Blog editors' note: Please do consider ordering Friends of Animals' new cookbook, Dining With Friends: The Art of North American Vegan Cuisine -- availble on our Web site. Then know that the peak of tourism season in Canada starts in June, and your plans to honor a travel boycott are in solidarity with animal rights -- and the economic push to persuade Canada's residents that seals are neither resources nor commodities. No matter how many seals are killed, it's immoral. FoA opposes the slaughter for the death and suffering it imposes on every single seal. ]

GOOD DAY. I LIVE IN CANADA A DO NOT SUPPORT OR BUY ANYTHING CANADAIAN. I READ ALL LABELS AND MAKE SURE IT'S NOT FROM CANADA. THIS SEAL HUNT IF FOR MONEY ONLY. NORWAY NEEDS TO STOP BUYING THE PELTS AS WELL. FROM WHAT I UNDERSTAND MOST OF THE PELTS GO TO THEM. IT IS ONE THING FOR FOOD. AND ONLY FOOD. LIKE OUR ANCESTORS DID. THEY DID NOT HAVE A CORNER STORE TO BUY FOOD FROM SO THEY HAD TO HUNT TO SURVIVE. BUT WHEN IT IS ONLY FOR PROFIT, THIS MAKES ME SICK. WHEN WILL OUR GOVERNMENT WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE. THIS IS MORE MONEY IN TOURISM THAN KILLING FOR MONEY. AS A CANADIAN, I HOPE THIS BOYCOTT CONTINUES UNTIL THIS HUNT STOPS. MARY

I travelled to Canada last year with Elderhostel. Had I known then of the atrocities being committed against these baby harp seals, I never would have talked my husband into going. Canada is lovely, but not at the cost of these merciless killings. In reading all the emails, I so agree with the comments. Where are the hearts of people who can do this and not think anything of it. I cringed and cried when I read some of these comments regarding the torturous, murderous, vile manner in which some people get their "kicks". Were we not given a heart to love all mankind and our animals? Also, the same applies to the senseless killings of our wolves in Alaska. We must work to put a stop to this.

I will never step foot on Canadian ground. I refuse to contribute to a country that takes pride in the slaughter of thousands of innocent animals.

i say that seal hunting is the cruelist form of hunting would the hunters like it if someone came up behind them and clubbed them real hard i don't think so and they don't need to hurt my harp seals they need to leave my seals alone

Oh snap! I really was planning to go to the Olymics up there. Canada, there is still time to redeem yourself. STOP THE KILLING NOW and REPENT!!! OK, maybe then I'll go...

I can't believe the government is allowing this to go on!!!!! These seals are hurting, confused and scared we are not suppose to allow people to do this!! We where not put on this earth to hurt animals or people this is SICKENING!!!! There is no reason to kill these innocent seals, the fur is not that important I don't care how much someone is making off these animals, how would these people feel if these where there children, and we needed their skin so we could clone someone. My question is how much is the Canadian governement making off this killing? How can you look at these seals in there eyes and then bash there heads, not only to skin them but skin them when there still alive. We NEED to end this and END it at ONCE!!!!!!!!!!

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