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Canada seal hunt continues amid growing opposition, and support

April 24, 2009 | 12:38 pm


The annual seal hunt in eastern Canada is still taking place, and opponents and proponents continue to voice their opinions.

The latest to come out against the hunting is Paul McCartney, who has called upon the European Parliament to adopt a seal trade ban. McCartney has also added his name to the petition organized by Humane Society International and Respect for Animals pushing for the ban.

"The fate of millions of seal pups is in the hands of elected members of the European Parliament," McCartney said in a released statement. "In the next few weeks, they will have a historic opportunity to stop the cruel trade in seal products throughout the European Union."

The Parliament is scheduled to vote on a proposed trade ban during the plenary session scheduled for the first week of May.

Seal3On the other side, Quebec Sen. Celine Hervieux-Payette is a signatory on the Universal Declaration on the Ethical Harvest of Seals, which has been drafted in response to the growing movement against the hunt.

"As far as I'm concerned we have highly ethical standards," Hervieux-Payette said. "We developed the declarations so we are on a common ground and to relieve this image that Canadians are barbarians."

"There has been a propaganda campaign with millions of dollars spent and it's just a vegetarian lobby," Hervieux-Payette added. "I'm not starting a campaign for people to stop eating vegetables."

Meanwhile, many sealers have decided to not participate in the hunt this year, because of the lack of a market and low prices being paid for seal pelts.

--Kelly Burgess

Photos courtesy of the International Fund for Animal Welfare