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February 19, 2013

Humane Society International Canada Applauds Arrests in Vicious Seal Beatings

Urges authorities to pursue criminal charges if warranted

Humane Society International/Canada

  • HSI/Canada hopes that, if warranted, criminal charges will be pressed on this latest case of grey seal slaughters. HSI

MONTREAL — Humane Society International commends authorities in Prince Edward Island for the arrests of three suspects in a recent case involving the deaths of more than 50 grey seals on Murray Beach. Pierre Yves Daoust of the Atlantic Veterinary College has confirmed that necropsies revealed the seals had severely fractured skulls, and that there is a strong likelihood the seals were bludgeoned.

"Humane Society International/Canada thanks law enforcement for giving this case their serious attention and for their efforts to find whoever is responsible for this violent and criminal act. We hope our reward of $5,000 has helped to bring information to light, and that the people who committed this crime will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law," said Rebecca Aldworth, executive director of HSI/Canada. "The RCMP has confirmed this is a criminal case of cruelty to animals, and we expect criminal charges to eventually be laid in this matter if they are warranted."

Students from the Charlottetown-based Atlantic Veterinary College found the beaten seals. The group included both young pups and adult seals. Veterinary experts have confirmed that the deaths were likely caused by humans, and witnesses indicate that Department of Fisheries and Oceans staff had to euthanize several wounded pups upon arrival at the scene.

The Marine Mammal Regulations under the Fisheries Act make it an offence to interfere with marine mammals, including seals, without lawful authority, while Canada’s Criminal Code forbids causing needless suffering to animals.

HSI/Canada was able to offer the reward thanks to generous donations from board members of The Humane Society of the United States as well as concerned residents of Prince Edward Island and other parts of Canada.

Authorities are still seeking information and those with information on the case can send their reports to info@hsicanada.ca or contact the RCMP.

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Media Contact: Dean Pogas, 514.395.2914, dpogas@humanesociety.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 eleven million members and constituents globally—on the Web at hsicanada.ca.

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