*NEWS* SHAME ON CANADA !

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*NEWS* SHAME ON CANADA !

 user 2006-03-27 at 1:07:00 pm Views: 90
  • #15091

    Canada seal cull gets under way
    Canada’s annual seal hunt has begun, amid international appeals for an end to the controversial cull.
    Up to 325,000 young harp seal pups could be killed in the coming weeks.
    Celebrities
    such as former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney and his wife have joined
    animal rights groups in condemning the cull as barbaric and unnecessary.
    Prime
    Minister Stephen Harper said Canada was victim of an “international
    propaganda campaign”, and insisted the cull would be carried out
    humanely.
    HARP SEALS
    Found in north Atlantic and Arctic oceans
    Feed on fish and crustaceans and spend much of year at sea
    Pups born on the ice and nurse for two weeks, when they are abandoned by their mothers
    Can be legally hunted only once their white coats darken, at about two weeks old
    The
    cull, which reportedly earns C$16.5m (£8.3m) in meat and pelt sales, is
    an important source of income for fishing communities in Quebec and
    Newfoundland that have been hit hard by dwindling fish stocks in the
    Atlantic.
    The hunt is “an annual harvest and it is based on
    economics… It is harvesting animals on a sustainable basis”, Roger
    Simone of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans told the BBC.
    The
    Canadian government says the cull is also necessary to control seal
    numbers, saying the seal population is now almost six million, nearly
    triple the level of the 1970s.
    It recently increased the total allowable catch by 5,000, to 325,000 seals.
    ‘Shut the hunt’
    The first stage of the cull has begun in the Gulf of St Laurence region in Quebec.
    Some
    90,000 seal pups in the area are expected to be killed before the hunt
    moves on to Newfoundland, where thousands more will be culled.
    The
    head of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (Ifaw), Fred O’Regan,
    said in a statement that the cull was a “cruel hunt for products that
    nobody needs”.
    “Canada is better than this. It’s time for the new Canadian government to shut down the seal hunt,” he said.
    It is the market that is determining the amount of seals killed – if people didn’t buy fur there would be no market
    Eric Hovius, Ontario, Canada
    Ifaw
    has asked the Canadian government to cancel this year’s hunt due to
    poor ice conditions, which it says means many pups will drown anyway.
    Sir
    Paul and Heather McCartney, who visited the region earlier this month
    to protest against the cull, made a last-minute video appeal.
    “We
    are absolutely committed to making sure this is the last slaughter of
    baby seals in Canada anyone will ever have to witness,” Sir Paul said.
    They urged Canada to consider a “win-win” plan to end the hunt while compensating fishermen for lost revenue.
    Celebrity campaigner Brigitte Bardot also asked the Canadian government to halt the cull earlier this week.
    “Canada
    is a rich country. It doesn’t need to sell skin, oil, fat and powdered
    seal penises to make aphrodisiacs for countries in Asia… You cannot
    continue a genocide of animals like this,” the 71-year-old actress said.
    But Mr Harper, who refused a request to meet Bardot, dismissed the suggestion.
    “We
    don’t harvest the pups,” he said, referring to a 1987 ban on the
    killing of newborn seals with white coats pictured in many anti-hunt
    posters.
    “Unfortunately, we’re to some degree the victim of a bit of
    an international propaganda campaign… We believe the country is
    acting responsibly and we’ll make sure all rules are enforced.”