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June 13, 2013

HSI/Canada Statement on PEI Seal Beating Sentencing

Humane Society International/Canada

  • While encouraged by the investigation that lead to the pressing of criminal charges, HSI believes that the sentences provided did not come close to reflecting the severity of the crimes. The HSUS

MONTREAL — Rebecca Aldworth, executive director of Humane Society International/Canada, issued the following statement regarding the sentencing of three individuals who viciously beat 50 nursing grey seal pups and their mothers to death on a beach on Prince Edward Island in January 2013. The offenders’ sentences included 200 hours of community service, two years probation and a fine of $1,000.

“Humane Society International is grateful that our $5,000 reward led to the identification and conviction of the individuals who viciously beat grey seals to death. However, in our view, the sentences provided did not come close to reflecting the severity of the crimes. These three individuals savagely beat more than 50 newborn animals and their mothers to death, reportedly leaving some of them suffering in agony.

There is a direct link between animal cruelty and violence against people. Sentences imposed in this kind of case must serve as a deterrent for the individuals involved and others.

We are grateful that counseling was a part of the sentences, and hope that the offenders receive appropriate treatment. However, jail time, fines of up to $10,000 for the adult defendant and a ban on owning animals of any kind were also options in this case, and should have been imposed given the seriousness of this crime.”

Background:

  • Students from the Charlottetown based Atlantic Veterinary College found the dead and dying grey seals on January 25th on a PEI beach. The abused animals included both young pups and adult seals.
  • On Feb. 1, Pierre Yves Daoust of the Atlantic Veterinary College confirmed that necropsies revealed the seals had severely fractured skulls.
  • On Feb. 1, Humane Society International/Canada offered a $1,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of the persons responsible for the seal killings.
  • Thanks to contributions from people in PEI, other parts of Canada, and the United States, HSI Canada was able to increase the reward amount on Feb. 5 to $5,000.
  • On Feb. 19, The RCMP charged three teenage boys, aged 15, 17 and 18 with causing unnecessary suffering to animals in the seal killings.
  • The three individuals pled guilty to the charges weeks later, and HSI Canada paid the $5,000 reward to the individual who helped identify the offenders.

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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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