Stop Promotion of Seal Industry


Target: Canadian Fisheries Minister Keith Hutchings

Goal: End the funding and promotion of the seal industry in Canada

The governments of Newfoundland and Labrador have begun funding a campaign to raise awareness toward what they perceive are misconceptions about the seal industry. Commercial seal hunting has taken a significant hit because of recent bans on the importation of seal products, and the Canadian government plans on using funds to promote the slaughter. This is an egregious misuse of government funds and must be stopped immediately.

The campaign is partially a response to the World Trade Organization’s decision to uphold the European Union’s ban on imported seal products because of moral concerns, and also Canada’s upcoming appeal of that decision. At least 60 thousand dollars has been set aside for the campaign. Fisheries Minister Keith Hutchings says, “We want to be out in front again during that period to communicate as we’ve done in the past that it is a humane hunt.” Very little is humane about a seal hunt, however. Unlike the meat industry, in which there are laws requiring animals to be stunned before being slaughtered, or hunting in which a hunter can be fined or have their license revoked for not taking a shot intended to kill the animal instantly, there are no such requirements on seal hunts. Seals are often either clubbed to death or harpooned.

Rebecca Aldworth, executive director of Humane Society International-Canada, has been observing the seal hunts in Newfoundland, Labrador and Quebec for 15 years and has witnessed many acts of cruelty and inhumane treatment, like wounded seals being left to suffer. She responded to the campaign, saying, “It’s impossible for any entity to keep this hunt under close supervision, which is just one of the many reasons why the European Union has chosen to ban trade in seal products.”

Please sign the petition below to demand that Canada stop pouring tax dollars into campaigns for a cruel and dying industry.


Dear Keith Hutchings,

You recently set aside 60 thousand dollars in government funding to begin a campaign promoting the seal industry and to clear up what you perceive are misconceptions about it. These aren’t misconceptions, however. Animal welfare groups and government organizations around the world, including the World Trade Organization, have concluded that commercial seal hunting is inhumane. Regardless of what certifications are required or how much consideration is given, it is impossible to regulate such an industry and ensure the lives of the seals are respected.

Under no circumstances is any animal being clubbed to death humane, and under no circumstances is it acceptable to use tax dollars to promote it, or to promote a dying industry, for that matter. Please stop this campaign immediately. Traditions should only be maintained so long as they are harmless.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Hugo-photography via Flickr

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