October 17, 2007
Canadian cruelty cover-up!
This week, the HSI/HSUS Protect Seals team is on trial for documenting the 2006 Canadian seal hunt.
You wouldn't think it could happen in a place like Canada. But the Canadian government is desperate to cover up the cruelty at the seal hunt, and it will sink to any depths to stop HSI/HSUS from exposing the truth.
It happened in 2006. That March, seven HSI/HSUS observers filmed as sealers killed helpless baby seals. Without warning, we were stopped by fisheries officers and arrested. The officers claimed we had gone slightly within the ten-meter barrier we are required to maintian from seal hunters a sa condition of our observation permits. Our footage was seized, and we were denied observation permits for the rest of the 2006 hunt.
This court case is part of an ongoing effort by the Canadian government and others to block observation of the commercial seal hunt. Just months ago, the Canadian government proposed to double the distance observers must remain from seal hunters. Seal hunters have also worked to prevent observers from documenting the seal hunt, forming mobs and assaulting observers on the ice floes.
But the increasing frustration of sealers is not surprising. Markets for seal products are shutting globally and more companies are boycotting Canadian seafood as the world sees the cruelty at the hunt. The Canadian government and sealing industry have to do something.
But rather than address the extreme cruelty we document each and every year, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is trying to eliminate documentation.
It's a cruelty cover-up. But it can only work if we let the Canadian government do this quietly. We need your help to expose the truth. We are fighting for our rights to be there for the seals and to expose the brutality that is unleashed on the unsuspecting baby seals each year.
Help us now to speak up for the seals. You can help us in three important ways:
- Send an urgent letter to the Canadian Prime Minister, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and the Canadian High Commission in Australia (sample letter and contact details follow at the end of this Action Alert).
- Write a note of encouragement to the Protect Seals team and send to firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll post it on the HSI Canada website to let the Canadian government know the whole world is watching this trial.
- Send this alert to your friends and ask them to take action to support the Protect Seals team.
Updates on the trial will be posted to the web int he coming says and will provide information about the evidence and our teams' defense.
I am writing to express my strong oppposition to the continued attempts by the Canadian government to cover up the cruelty at the seal hunt. The ongoing trial of HSUS representatives, who were arrested in 2006 for the "crime" of observing the seal hunt, is yet another unacceptable tactic to try to silence opposition to the seal hunt.
The attempts by the Canadian government to amend the Marine Mammal Regulations to restrict observation of the seal hunt are a transparent attempt to do the same.
Please register my dismay that the government of a free and democratic nation would sink to arresting its own citizens to protect an outdated and cruel industry the vast majority of Canadians believe should have ended decades ago.
SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:
The Canadian Prime Minister
Right Honorable Stephen Harper
Prime Minister's Office
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario, K1A OA2
The Canadian High Commission in Australia
His Excellency Michael Leir
Canadian High Commissioner
Canadian High Commission
Canberra ACT 2600
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada
200 Kent Street
13th Floor, Station 13228
Canada K1A OE6