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March 30, 2012

HSI/Canada Statement on the Senate Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans Grey Seal Management Hearings

Humane Society International/Canada

  • It is time for the Canadian authorities to heed the overwhelming scientific evidence against grey seal culls. Rebecca Aldworth

Rebecca Aldworth, executive director of Humane Society International/Canada  issued the following statement in response to Senate Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans meeting in Halifax to hear further testimony regarding a proposed cull of grey seals:

"These Senate hearings have become a shameful political charade seeking to justify a globally condemned and scientifically unfounded proposal to cull grey seals. The scientific community has already dismissed the calls for a cull, noting that killing grey seals could threaten the recovery of the damaged ecosystem of the northwest Atlantic. The few independent scientists invited to testify at the Halifax hearings have reiterated those points. Tellingly, the hearings have been, and continue to be, dominated by sealing and fur industry lobbyists who are strongly advocating for government subsidies to support the commercial slaughter of harp seals. The Canadian government must stop playing politics with the health of our oceans and reject this senseless cull."

In hearings that are supposedly being held to evaluate the scientific evidence regarding the proposed grey seal cull, including the Halifax meetings, the Senate committee will have heard from 24 industry representatives, 11 government employees (including four government marine scientists) and one veterinarian who is a director of the Fur Institute of Canada. Only seven independent scientists will have testified.

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Humane Society International/Canada is a leading force for animal protection, representing tens of thousands of members and constituents across the country. HSI/Canada has active programs in companion animals, wildlife and habitat protection, marine mammal preservation and farm animal welfare. HSI/Canada is proud to be a part of Humane Society International—one of the largest animal protection organizations in the world, with more than 11 million members and constituents globally—On the Web at hsicanada.ca.

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