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Canada's 2011 Seal Slaughter Takes 38,000 lives -- Reinforces the Delusional Insanity of DFO's 400,000 Kill Quota

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  • Brennan Browne
    Commercial seal hunt off Canada s East Coast one of the worst [ least lethal] on recordBy Michael MacDonald, The Canadian Press | The Canadian Press – Tue,
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 16, 2011
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      Commercial seal hunt off Canada's East Coast one of the worst [ least lethal] on recordBy Michael MacDonald, The Canadian Press | The Canadian Press – Tue, 14 Jun, 2011


      - As the annual East Coast seal hunt draws to a close, federal
      officials have confirmed this season was one of the worst since the
      early 1990s, when the industry struggled to recover from a European ban
      on white pelts from young harp seals.The total number of harp
      seals killed in the 2011 commercial slaughter was about 38,000 — less
      than 10 per cent of the allowable catch, set at 400,000.The
      industry's latest slump is the result of a shrinking world market and
      poor ice conditions in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and off the north coast
      of Newfoundland, where harp seal mothers need large ice pans to give
      birth to their young.Last year, the European Union's 27 member
      states banned importing most seal products, a move that has depressed
      pelt prices to between $20 and $30 — barely enough for seal hunters to
      cover the cost of fuel and insurance for their small boats.The
      use of large offshore boats was banned in 1987, the same year the
      federal government banned the killing of whitecoats. The United States
      banned importing seal products in 1972.Last week, the Canadian
      government said it will move ahead with its bid to challenge the latest
      European ban through the World Trade Organization, even though Ottawa is
      also trying to secure a free trade deal with the EU.The European
      Parliament adopted a resolution last week suggesting the WTO challenge
      should be dropped before the free trade talks move ahead. Prime Minister
      Stephen Harper has said he hopes to complete negotiations by 2012.Meanwhile,
      animal welfare groups are pressing ahead with media campaigns aimed at
      stopping the commercial hunt, which has been in operation since the
      mid-1700s.On Tuesday, the Canadian wing of Humane Society
      International held a news conference in Toronto to release graphic video
      footage that the group shot during this season's hunt.The group
      says the images reveal flagrant violations of Canadian law and
      international guidelines for the humane killing of animals."We've
      seen this year the lowest kill level that we've witnessed in nearly two
      decades, but despite the reduced number of seals that are being killed,
      the cruelty is escalating," the group's executive director, Rebecca
      Aldworth, said in an interview."There were only a handful of
      vessels participating in the hunt, and yet we were seeing constant
      violations of the marine mammal regulations and other cruel acts that no
      thinking, compassionate person could ever accept if they could see it
      for themselves."Aldworth said she and a film crew recorded images
      of conscious seals being impaled on metal hooks and dragged across the
      ice, as well as wounded seal pups left to suffer for prolonged periods.
      She alleged Fisheries officers witnessed violations, but did nothing.A
      call to federal Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield was not returned
      Tuesday, but a spokesman for him emailed a statement saying Humane
      Society International had yet to provide the department with any video
      images related to the hunt."Alleged infractions are taken very seriously and investigated by DFO officers," Frank Stanek said.Fisheries
      officers monitor the hunt through aerial and vessel patrols,
      inspections of vessels at sea and at landing sites and buying
      facilities, he added."The Canadian seal harvest is humane and
      guided by rigorous animal welfare principles, which are internationally
      recognized by most independent observers."The federal government
      has long said the hunt is a tightly regulated event that is humane and
      economically important to coastal communities, particularly in
      Newfoundland and eastern Quebec.Green Party Leader Elizabeth May
      said the Fisheries Department should end its financial support for the
      hunt as it looks for ways to find $74 million in savings over the
      2012-2014 fiscal period."Instead of slashing valuable programs,
      it's time to stop throwing taxpayers' dollars at the commercial seal
      hunt," she said in a statement. "For less money we now spend propping up
      this dying industry, we could buy out sealing licenses and develop
      sustainable economic alternatives for coastal communities, like seal
      watching."The landed value of the commercial hunt was $1.3
      million in 2010, she said, adding that the WTO case is expected to cost
      well in excess of $10 million.The Fisheries Department has said
      it recently struck a deal to export seal products to China. However,
      officials later said the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has yet to sign
      off on the deal.Sheryl Fink, a spokeswoman for the International
      Fund for Animal Welfare, said Canada's sealing industry is in decline,
      despite the promises behind the Chinese venture."It's on its way
      out," Fink said in an interview from Guelph, Ont. "The best solution for
      the sealers ... would be to transition people out and provide
      compensation."Last week, Fink's organization released its own video footage from the hunt."The
      violations and the cruelty we saw at the hunt made it one of the worst
      that I've seen in the 10 years I've been out there," she said. "We have
      video of an animal that is alive and conscious and biting at a boat hook
      when it is hooked through the eye and dragged onto a boat."As
      for China,Fink said her group has been thwarted in its bid to obtain a
      copy of the seal product agreement between the Canadian and Chinese
      governments.Aldworth, a native Newfoundlander who grew up in a
      sealing community,said that when she travelled to China in April,
      officials there told her they have yet to grant any permits to Canadian
      Posted on 3/20/11 by Brennan Browne

      The harp seal population is healthy, sustainable and rapidly growing.

      Official estimates for harp seal populations released by the DFO, vary WILDLY,
      from 5.4 million up to 9 million.These figures are completely unreliable
       "guesstimates" based on erroneous, unscientific and biased information.

      "kill counts" for years 2006-2010 do not support the DFO's fantasy of a
      growing, healthy population of seals. The kill quota was dropped from a
      high of 350,000 seals in 2006,
      to 280,000 in 2007. And only 70% of the 280,000 quota was reached in
      2008. The 2010 kill quota of 330,000 set by the DFO, yielded less than
      20% of that number. Kill quotas for 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 were
      all DOWN by TENS OF THOUSANDS OF SEALS -- for each of those years.

      populations have dramatically declined due to mass slaughter, global
      warming and other negative environmental factors, as well as depleted
      food sources caused  by irresponsible and rapacious fishing
      practices--DFO policies--which continue to blame the seals for lower
      fish yields.

      No ice pans were reported in the areas around the
      Magdalen Islands in 2007, a scenario which continues to be repeated as
      ice floes melt earlier each year. As a result, adult females who need
      the ice for nurseries, are instead forced to give birth to their seal
      pups in the open sea. 100s of thousands of infants have drowned. 2011 is
      no exception, as a recent fly-over by DFO
      biologists confirmed; the Gulf of St. Lawrence is nearly ice free.
      Infant mortality rates are expected to be astronomical -- yet the
      slaughter will go on, regardless.


      * To inflict economic damage on those who profit from the misery and exploitation of animals.

      * To liberate animals from places of abuse, i.e. laboratories, factory farms, fur farms etc., and place them in good homes where they may live out their natural lives, free from suffering.
      * To reveal the horror and atrocities committed against animals behind locked doors, by performing nonviolent direct actions and liberations

      * To take all necessary precautions against harming any animal, human and non-human.

      * Any group of people who are vegetarians or vegans and who carry out actions according to ALF guidelines have the right to regard themselves as part of the ALF.
      [Law enforcement continues to erroneously believe the Animal Liberation Front is an
      "organization." The reality is that it's comprised of the completely independent actions of individuals. The ALF will never be broken, because it exists only in the minds of those willing to act alone in freeing animals from human terrorism.]

      Animal Rights--Rational, not Radical.
      ~ Brennan Browne

      The concept of 'animal rights' values the simple premise that ALL living
      creatures have a "right" to be allowed to live their lives without
      victimization--free from brutality. It is a right that EVERY being
      strives for.
      ~ Brennan Browne

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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