Each year, the Canadian government authorizes sealers to club and shoot to death hundreds of thousands of baby seals for their fur. Defenseless seal pups are routinely impaled on metal hooks, cut open while conscious, and left to suffer in agony.
The overwhelming majority of compassionate people want the seal slaughter to end, and yet the Canadian government continues to use Canadian tax dollars to prop up this dying industry.
Please tell Prime Minister Harper that seals should not be subjected to cruel and needless slaughter.
Like many Canadian parliamentarians, you may feel divided on the seal hunt issue. On one hand, you want to support sealers; on the other, you recognize that most Canadians and people around the world want the seal slaughter to end. Moreover, the continuation of commercial sealing is costing Canadians millions more dollars in subsidies than the seal hunt is bringing in, and severely damaging our international reputation.
But now, there is a way for you to support both sealers and those who want the seal hunt ended.
A 2011 poll conducted by Ipsos Reid reveals that fully half of Newfoundland sealers holding an opinion expressed support for a federal buyout of the commercial seal hunt. This plan would involve the federal government compensating fishermen for their sealing licenses and investing money in economic alternatives in the communities involved. Economists tell us such a plan would cost Canada far less than the money needed to keep the seal hunt going.
A sealing industry buyout makes perfect sense. Prices and markets for seal fur are falling fast following the European Union prohibition on seal product trade. Around the world, sealing is coming to an end, with Russia banning its commercial slaughter last year. Diminishing ice cover off our east coast means a growing awareness that commercial sealing will not be viable in the future.
Amazingly, the money needed for a federal sealing industry buyout would be less than 2 percent of the funds already invested by the federal government on fisheries buyouts and diversification plans off our east coast in the past two decades. Imagine -- a cost effective and constructive way forward that would move Canada beyond commercial sealing. Surely this is a plan everyone can get behind.
I am asking you to do everything in your power to support a federal sealing industry buyout. Please let me know your thoughts -- I believe we have a real solution now that is in the best interests of the seals, the sealers and Canada.