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April 16, 2012

HSI/Canada Statement: Multi-Million Dollar Handout Hasn’t Saved the Sealing Industry--It’s Time to End It

Humane Society International/Canada

  • Little ice, few seals. Frank Loftus/The HSUS

MONTREAL—Rebecca Aldworth, executive director of Humane Society International/Canada issued the following statement regarding the 2012 commercial seal slaughter:

“Despite millions of dollars in government financing provided to the sealing industry this year, most sealers are not participating in the slaughter. In recent days, only a few dozen sealing vessels have hailed out, down from more than 1,000 in the past. As of April 15, about 25,000 seals have been killed out of a quota of 400,000.

While the scale of the slaughter so far has been smaller than in previous years, it was devastating to witness the suffering of the very young pups, who were killed just so their skins could be stockpiled. Just as notable was the impact of climate change on these ice dependent harp seals. Instead of solid pack ice, we found tiny, melting ice floes and only a few thousand pups in regions where there should be hundreds of thousands.

Between closing seal product markets and the melting sea ice, there is no future in commercial sealing. Instead of providing pointless subsidies to an industry that cannot be revived, our government should end the slaughter by affording immediate compensation to sealers in exchange for their sealing licenses and investing in economic alternatives.”

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Media Contact: Dean Pogas: 514-261-6007/514-395-2914; dpogas@hsi.org

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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