By Camille Labchuk, Executive Director
The commercial seal slaughter has long been a bloody stain on Canada’s reputation. Every spring, the Canadian government lets sealers club, shoot, and skin baby seals in Atlantic Canada—most of them only a few weeks or months old—simply so their fur can be turned into luxury products for foreign markets.
I was pleased to team up this year with our friends at the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society as a crew member for Operation Ice Watch 2017. Sea Shepherd and its founder Paul Watson have been fighting to save seals for over 40 years. On this trip our mission was to visit seals on the ice with Hollywood actress Michelle Rodriguez, and remind the world to keep pressuring Canada to end the bloody slaughter of baby seals.
The seal slaughter has always been devastating to me. I grew up in Prince Edward Island—not far from where the killing takes place—and I can still remember the shock and sadness I felt as a child …
Prince Edward Island just bowed to the fur industry by giving hunters and trappers permission to kill even more animals this upcoming season. The move comes instead of heeding Animal Justice’s call to restrict fur trapping or even end the cruel practice altogether in the province.
Environment Minister Robert Mitchell announced in a news release that hunters would have an extra six weeks in total to kill snowshoe hares, and an extra month in the spring to trap minks. The news release indicates that the changes were made at the request of hunters and trappers.
Fur trapping is an incredibly violent practice. Canadian provinces allow trappers to use leg-hold traps, snares, and crush traps — cruel devices that often cause animals to suffer excruciating pain before they die.
Animal Justice met with Minister Mitchell last February to request a province-wide ban on fur trapping.
P.E.I.’s fur trapping industry has been under fire in recen…