The annual hunt for harp seals is underway and animal rights groups like Humane Society International and the International Fund for Animal Welfare have positioned themselves along the east coast of Canada protesting the 2012 slaughter. Joining in this year is singer and Canadian, Sarah McLachlan who wrote a stinging letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper asking him to stop the cruel hunt.
McLachlan, who is a native of Halifax, wrote to Mr. Harper on behalf of PETA. She pointed out that the commercial hunt is dying thanks to Russia’s decision to join the European Union ban on importing harp seal pelts and accused the Prime Minister of defending the fur industry for political gain.
Here is the letter Ms. McLachlan wrote:
Dear Prime Minister:
I hope this note finds you well. 2012 may mark the final year of the commercial seal slaughter because there’s no commerce in seal furs left. Now that Russia, which had been buying 95 percent of Canadian seal fur, has joined the E.U. and the U.S. in banning seal-fur imports, this business is about as lucrative as an eight-track tape factory. But there’s good news for the Eastern provinces: The recent oil boom has left them flush with a new and reliable source of money. It seems that the only reason why the federal government defends the dying seal-slaughter industry is to control the parliamentary swing seats in Newfoundland and Labrador. This became especially apparent when the fisheries invited only conservatives to the recent Ottawa news conference in support of sealers and also explains why liberals, for the most part, bite their tongues on the issue. The sealers- like tobacco farmers and asbestos miners – need leaders to devise a practical exit strategy for them, not waste millions more in hopeless World Trade Organization challenges or paying to stockpile pelts when buyers already have seal pelts going back several years. Won’t you lead the way?
My friends at PETA and I look forward to hearing from you.
The Prime Minister has not commented on McLachlan’s letter, but an email from Keith Ashfield, minister of fisheries and oceans, said his government is “unwavering” in its support for the thousands of coastal Canadians who depend on hunting seals for their livelihoods.
“The seal population is at historically high numbers and the hunt is a sustainable activity based on sound conservation principles. There are no conservation or commercial reasons to end Canada’s seal hunt and our government will not play politics with the livelihoods of Canadians,” continued Ashfield.
The Canadian government has approved 400,000 harp seals to be killed in this year’s hunt.
Photo Credit: Kashmera