Heather And Paul McCartney Renew Plea For Ban – On Eve Of Brutal Seal Hunt
24 March 2006
Heather and Paul McCartney, who visited the harp seal nursery on the Canadian ice floes earlier this month, have today (Friday 24 March) renewed their plea for an end to Canada’s brutal seal hunt – on the eve the start of the hunt – and asked countries around the world to stop buying seal products. The hunt is due to begin Saturday morning (25 March).
In a recorded statement for Respect for Animals and the Humane Society of the United States, Heather and Paul McCartney said:
‘We’re devastated to learn that 325,000 of these harp seals—almost all of them defenceless babies—will be clubbed and shot to death,’ said Heather McCartney. ‘Compassionate people from all around the world are opposed to this seal hunt, including the majority of Canadians, and we urge them to contact their Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, and ask him to ban the hunt.’
Paul McCartney added: ‘Heather and I chose to come out to the ice floes before the hunt began because it would break our hearts to have to see the cruelty of the hunt. But we are absolutely committed to making sure this is the last slaughter of baby seals in Canada anyone will ever have to witness.’
The McCartneys pointed out that an important strategy to ending the hunt is closing down the global markets for seal products and that countries such as Greenland, Mexico, and Italy have taken steps to ban the import of sealskins. ‘When countries stop buying sealskins, there will be no reason for sealers to kill the seals,’ said Heather McCartney. ‘We are asking every single country to please, please stop buying seal products so this hunt will stop.’
Paul McCartney offered an alternative to the hunt—‘We’re proposing a fair solution to all of this—a sealing license buy–back plan. This is a win–win solution: fishermen would be compensated for any lost revenue when the hunt is closed, and Canada would have a graceful way to put an end to a cruel and needless practice that should have been stopped many years ago.’
Mark Glover, Director, Respect for Animals and Humane Society International (UK) added: ‘Heather and Paul McCartney noted in their statement that a global boycott of Canadian seafood products has already cost Canada many times the value of the seal hunt. Clearly, the Canadian government and fishing industry have an economic choice to make.’
The boycott of Canadian fish and seafood products, which has been very successful in the United States, is now growing in the UK. More information is available at: www.boycott-canada.com website.
97% of the seals killed over the last three years were less than 3 months of age, and the majority less than 1 month old. A 2001 independent veterinarian report concluded that close to half of the seals examined were likely still conscious when skinned, causing ‘considerable and unacceptable suffering’.