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February 5, 2013

Humane Society International/Canada Increases Reward to $5,000 for Information Leading to the Conviction of the Persons Responsible for Seal Killings on Prince Edward Island

Humane Society International/Canada

  • The group of dead and dying seals found in PEI included both young pups and adult seals like the ones pictured here. Mark Glover/HSI

MONTREAL, Quebec — HSI/Canada has increased its reward to $5,000 for information leading to the conviction of the person or persons responsible for the deaths of more than 50 grey seals in PEI last week. 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.

“This was a vicious, criminal act and the seals suffered horribly,” said Rebecca Aldworth, executive director of Humane Society International/Canada. “Studies show there is a clear link between cruelty to animals and violence against people. For the sake of these seals, for public security and for PEI’s global reputation, we must identify the people responsible and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law. HSI/Canada sincerely hopes that this reward will inspire people to come forward with information so that criminal charges can be laid.”

The group of dead and dying seals was found by students from the Charlottetown based Atlantic Veterinary College, and included both young pups and adult seals. Veterinary experts have confirmed that the deaths were likely caused by humans, and witnesses indicate that DFO 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 increase the reward amount 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.

Those with information on the case can send their reports to info@hsicanada.ca.

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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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