25 abril 2008

The Cruel Seal Hunt Continues

In early March the ice floes of Eastern Canada are a breathtaking vision: an endless sea and sky filled with white as far as the eye can see. In one of nature’s most beautiful spectacles, hundreds of thousands of baby harp seals call out to their mothers, alone on the ice for the first time.
But then the sealing ships arrive. What was once a scene of peace and innocence becomes a makeshift factory of terror and cruelty as the ice is covered in blood. These helpless baby seals, some as young as two weeks old, are clubbed or shot to death for their fur. Many will even be skinned alive or die trapped under the ice after being injured.
IFAW hunt monitors risk their lives each year by taking to the ice to film the hunt, documenting the cruelty and sharing the truth about the seal hunt with the rest of the world.
With nearly 95,000 actions taken to help end Canada’s commercial seal hunt this past year alone, IFAW supporters like you are making a huge difference. Visit the seal blog to learn what IFAW and its supporters are doing to stop the seal hunt.
In just the last few months:

* The Canadian sealing industry declared it was in a 'crisis' due to the growing opposition to seal products in Europe.
* Sales of seal pelts remain sluggish, and prices remain low, as the market for seal pelts is saturated and demand for this unnecessary product disappears.
* Germany took important steps towards a ban on the import of seal products. They join the US, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, France, Mexico and Croatia in speaking out against Canada's cruel, unsustainable, and unnecessary slaughter of harp seal pups.
* The European Food Safety Authority released a scientific opinion on seal hunting, which stated that effective killing does not always occur, sealers often do not comply with the regulations and that animals may suffer pain and distress.
* IFAW hunt monitors showed the world the tragic truth about what is happening to the hundreds of thousands of baby seals who died as a result of poor ice conditions or at the hands of sealers.

In the coming year, IFAW will continue to alert politicians and the public to the many problems with the hunt, document alleged violations of the Marine Mammal Regulations and support crucial scientific research on harp seal population issues.
The majority of Canadians are opposed to the hunting of seal pups under any circumstances. Together, we can help make their wishes come true.

Fred O’Regan
President and CEO
P.S.You can also visit the StoptheSealHunt Blog to check for updates on IFAW’s campaign to end Canada’s cruel commercial seal hunt.

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