Subject: Canada-Seal Hunt (fwd)

Michael Williamson (
Tue, 11 Feb 1997 12:32:24 -0500 (EST)

J. Michael Williamson
   Principal Investigator-WhaleNet <>
   Associate Professor-Science
   Wheelock College, 200 The Riverway, Boston, MA 02215
voice: 617.734.5200, ext. 256
fax:    617.734.8666, or 617.566.7369

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 11 Feb 97 12:51:00 GMT 
Subject: Canada-Seal Hunt

Canada-Seal Hunt

 Associated Press Writer
   TORONTO (AP) -- Foes of Canada's annual seal hunt escalated their
attack on the industry Monday, releasing undercover video footage
showing seals being skinned alive and dragged over the ice with
   "The only conclusion one can draw from the film is that the
Canadian seal hunt is cruel, criminal and out of control," said
Clayton Ruby, a prominent lawyer who joined animal-rights activists
at a press conference in Ottawa.
   The International Fund for Animal Welfare said it obtained the
video footage by hiring investigators who posed as photographers
for a U.S. hunting magazine. The 10 hours of tape show 144 alleged
violations of seal-hunt regulations, the group said.
   The video footage, coupled with full-page anti-sealing ads
placed in major Canadian newspapers Monday, was likely to worsen
the dilemma faced by the federal fisheries department.
   The department risked the wrath of animal-rights activists
worldwide whenit boosted the 1996 seal harvest quota by 34
percent, allowing 250,000 harp seals along the Atlantic coast to be
   Alleged infractions committed during that hunt led to 101
sealers being charged last year with illegally killing and selling
protected seal pups. The department says it will study the video to
determine whether more charges are warranted.
   Earle McCurdy, president of Newfoundland's largest fishing
union, said the video gives a distorted view of an industry that is
no more vicious than others in which animals are killed.
   But Mary Richardson, who chairs the animal welfare committee of
the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association, said the level of
cruelty depicted would not be tolerated at slaughter houses or
research labs in Canada.
   The 1996 seal quota was increased in part to help Newfoundland's
battered economy. The province -- Canada's poorest -- was devastated
by the collapse of codfish stocks in the early 1990s, and sealing
was touted as a way to compensate.
   "Political considerations have resulted in the (fisheries
department) expanding a hunt that it cannot control," said Rick
Smith of the International Fund for Animal Welfare.