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Editors: NEW Still images and broadcast quality video b-roll of Canada’s 2008 commercial seal hunt are available via www.thenewsmarket.com/ifaw.
OTTAWA, CANADA–(April 4, 2008) – As Canadian government officials continue a European tour in attempt to forestall an EU ban on seal products, IFAW (the International Fund for Animal Welfare – www.ifaw.org) released new video evidence refuting the government’s claims that the humaneness of Canada’s commercial seal hunt has improved.Evidence showing that seals are not killed immediately or humanely in Canada’s commercial seal hunt has been documented this week, at the very same time Canadian officials overseas are heralding this year to be the most humane seal hunt ever.
We’ve seen seals shot at multiple times, writhing in their blood on the ice; seals being clubbed that are injured but clearly not killed on the first strike. And we’ve seen live, conscious seals stabbed with hooks, dragged across the ice and then hauled up on boats.
This sort of cruelty should not be tolerated anywhere in the world,” said Sheryl Fink, IFAW senior researcher and veteran seal hunt observer. “Once they see the evidence for themselves, it will be hard to convince Europeans that this hunt is anything other than inherently inhumane.”
Video evidence from the 2008 seal hunt clearly shows that the Canadian government’s new condition of licence is not being followed by sealers, nor is it being enforced by authorities.
“The Canadian Government can spin all the stories it wants in Europe, but our observations reveal the truth – no new condition of license will increase the humaneness of this hunt,” continued Fink. “The new rule is a sham, nothing has changed.”
“The highly-touted condition of licence was obviously meant to convince Europeans that things have improved here in Canada. Our videos show that the new condition is not being followed, and that the rule is not being enforced. The Canadian delegation in Europe must be having a hard time explaining this one,” added Fink.
Fink also said she was “disgusted” by the Canadian government’s insistence on confusing Canada’s commercial seal hunt with hunting by aboriginal peoples in Canada’s North.
“Inuit seal hunting and Canada’s commercial seal hunt are two completely different hunts, for different seals, in different places, at different times of the year.” said Fink. “This is a shameless attempt to play on the concerns of Europeans for aboriginal peoples, and to pass off the southern commercial hunt for fur coats as an Inuit hunt.”
Footage of the opening days of Canada’s commercial seal hunt is available at www.thenewsmarket.com/ifaw
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