04/01/09 Canadian Sealers Admit - There is No Humane Killing

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Expecting the voting for the ban on seal trade in the EU, Canadian sealers admit - there is no humane killing

An historical decision is expected at a plenary session on April 1 in Brussels when the European Parliament is supposed to pass proposed legislation which will ban the trade of seal products in the EU, including their import, transit through the EU, and export.

A few days before the voting on this ban, Canadian sealers' testimony obtained during 1998 under the Freedom of Information Act was revealed to the public!

The following is direct testimony from sealers, taken by Department of Fisheries and Oceans staff. It was obtained through Access to Information laws, and contains graphic descriptions of animal cruelty. To date, seven charges have been laid as a result of the investigation, but only one had resulted in a court hearing.

"Prior to March most females were killed with the pup inside them. I seen seven pups threw over the side after the female was pelted. I took two out myself. Me and another sealer even agreed that this was shocking and there should be another way to hunt seals. We were in the whelping on March 10/98 because I observed that eight of tens pans of ice had young pups with the after birth and other debris from the birth on the ice. There was once I can remember the young seal watching his parents being hoist aboard. He watched the boat as we steamed away. The pups were not killed but left by themselves on the ice." – Sealer's statement, taken by Fergus Foley, Department of Fisheries and Oceans

"I did see some mother seals killed and the pup fall out on deck still alive. (Deleted) told me to throw it overboard and I did. It crawled up on a pan of ice. The mother was full of milk, the milk ran out on deck when the pup fell out." – Sealer's statement, taken by Cyril Furlong, Department of Fisheries and Oceans

"I was present when female seals were pelted and did see pups fall out of the female on deck. I seen this happen twice and know that it happened eight to ten times during the first trip. I knew this happened because of conversations with the crew. The two pups that I saw on deck were alive. The pups were threw over board…" – Sealer's statement, taken by Cyril Furlong, Department of Fisheries and Oceans

"I seen a female being pelted and the pup came out of her when they cut her open, the pup was dead. This seal was killed for a while. This was on the day we got one hundred and seventy. Someone passed the comment, 'If Greenpeace were only here to see this.'" – Sealer's statement, taken by Fergus Foley, Department of Fisheries and Oceans

Along with this testimony, Animal Friends wants to present to the Croatian public a two-minute-long 2009 documentary by The Humane Society of the United States narrated by Rebecca Aldworth about the Canadian "seal nursery." The documentary can be seen at the home page www.animal-friends-croatia.org or at the YouTube channel www.youtube.com/user/afcroatia.

For five years already Animal Friends has protested against this slaughter of the innocent. Last year Animal Friends lobbied intensively at more than 1,200 presidents of states, prime ministers, members of governments and parliaments, political parties and parliamentary groups, MEPs and MPs of the European Union member states.

Today's decision on the ban on trade of seal products in the European Union might be a crucial factor in ending these cruelties and saving seals, therefore Animal Friends awaits the outcome eagerly.

As of yet, trade on seal fur and other products is already banned in Croatia, Slovenia, Belgium, the Netherlands, Latvia, Mexico, and the United States.

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