Search Our Site

Search form


"Don't Wait for the Olympics!" Friends of Animals Tells Tourists, "Boycott Canada Now, 'Til Seal Hunt Stops"

April 10, 2006 | Seals

For Immediate Release: 10 April 2006
Contact: Priscilla Feral, President
Tel: 203.656.1522

Darien, Conn., U.S.
"“ With Canada preparing to go full-speed ahead on its annual seal hunt, Friends of Animals today unveiled an international tourism boycott to press the Canadian government to stop the kill.

Friends of Animals president Priscilla Feral states:

"We ask people everywhere to avoid travel to Canada until its government stops this miserable seal slaughter. The government sets the kill quotas. Government funds assist the kill. These resources must be redirected to build a real economic foundation for Canada's coastal residents.

"Don't wait for the Olympics: Stay away and end this now."

The Canadian Institute for Business and the Environment reports that over $20 million in Canadian federal dollars supported seal processing between 1995 and 2001. The funds also maintain plants, cover ice-breaking support, and sustain research and marketing for seal products. In short, the seal-killing industry is propped up.

The World Tourism Organization ranks Canada among the world's top dozen travel destinations. It attracted 20 million tourists in 2002, but by 2004 was down to about 19 million.[1] To boost the industry, Ottawa spent $78 million last year on the Canadian Tourism Bureau.[2] "Obviously," Priscilla Feral stated, "Tourism, which generates tens of billions each year, is vital in a way the heavily subsidized, $16.5 million seal-pelt business is not."

Adds Feral, "Effects on the Royal Canadian Pacific Railroad, cruise lines stopping in Canada, and hotels and attractions from Niagara Falls to Calgary will ripple throughout the economy."

The boycott will place emphasis on Canada's top visitor markets -- people from the United States, Britain, France, Germany, and Australia. As hundreds of thousands work in the travel sector, the boycott will impact the Canadian people. But Canada's populace, after all, must be moved to hold its own government accountable.

Friends of Animals called on environmentalists, students, animal advocacy groups, and people on the streets to support the boycott. Says Feral: "Groups have documented and monitored the kill for too long. Forget marine mammal regulations and pretending that enforcement can make it humane. No matter how many seals are killed, it's immoral. Dying is one by one."

Once this killing ends, the group will avidly support ecologically sound travel.

"Seal watching and ecotours, launched in the 1980s through businesses such as Habitat Adventures and Travel Wild Expeditions, are a much better bet to address the province's 15% jobless rate," said Feral. "That was proven when the whale- killing communities adjusted their economy. We have and will support careful, prudent ecotourism."

Likewise, the Green Party of Canada believes seal watching excursions would be better for the economy and the ecology of the East coast.[3]

The Green Party notes that Europeans arrived on the continent to find about 24 million harp seals living in balance with so many fish that their abundance could impede the passage of ships. Today, less than five million harp seals remain, and the cod are gone.

The Green Party has called for an end to federal support for the kill in no uncertain terms. Its leader, Jim Harris, stated it's high time to "develop sustainable jobs that will bring Newfoundland and Labrador international praise."

Friends of Animals, headquartered in Darien, Connecticut, has been a global leader in animal rights advocacy since 1957.


  1. Recent (2005) data available.
  2. Catherine Porter, "Big-Spending Tourists Shun Toronto," Toronto Star (2 Feb. 2006)
  3. Information on the Green Party of Canada and its opposition to the seal kill is available through:


Stop being selfish and money hungry and killing the innocent animals!

My husband and I have visited beautiful Victoria several times and had planned a trip this summer. Until Canada halts the horrific seal hunt we will unfortunately be forced to postpone our visits to your country. There are many things about your country that we love, but this one issue is so hideous that we will do whatever is in our power to make it end. Please show the world that money should not win out over compassion. Sincerely yours, Cheryl Kline

Stop the seal hunt!!

Pease stop! Please!

"Don't punish the many for the sins of the few!"-I am a long-time Friends of Animals supporter and I agree the entire seal hunt issue needs to be changed; but my two children live in Canada, and I intend to visit with them during my April school vacation week! Do what you can in your own communities, don't bash the entire country, please! [Blog editors' note: Thank you for your support. If the kids can't be sent to you, please know that a tourism boycott of Canada is in force to inspire peace and justice for seals, and a halt to an immoral slaughter. Perhaps the Canadian government understands capitalism best, so the international protest delivers an economic boycott during Canada's peak travel months -- June - September. ]

I think it's sick that people can do any kind of harm to any living ( being) . How do they sleep at night?

I think it's disturbing. How can someone look into the eyes of this fragile animal and kill it? I never wore fur and never will!!! This is disgusting. Sick, Sick people...

"Then know that the peak of tourism season in Canada starts in June, and your plans to honor a travel boycott are in solidarity with animal rights..." Sorry, I don't think that the above was an answer to my question at all, actually I think it is evidence for precisely what I was advocating. I understand that killing seals is immoral, I am not arguing with that at all. What I am arguing against is that the boycott will do anything whatsoever, and that it is sending the wrong message. What FoA seems to advocate with this campaign is "don't worry about all the other farm animals worldwide who are slaughtered, worry about the seals, they are innocent and cute." I don't understand why the seal hunt gets more publicity than other injustices. What this type of activism seems to do is perpetuate the mentality that other animals are OK to kill, torture, maim, etc., but that we ought not to do this to animals which are cute, endangered, majestic etc. I agree that we ought not to kill seals, but I don't agree that seals have some sort of priority over other animals, that seems quite absurd (and furthermore, if we are going to set priorities, we ought not to set them in accord with aesthetic virtues). Thus, it seems we sacrifice progressive activism for publicity stunts, which seems to be what the "animal rights" movement has constantly done, though I thought that this sort of simple-mindedness was indicative of PETA, not FoA. (BTW boycotting Canada doesn't work for Canadian residents, which includes me) [Blog editors' note: Friends of Animals is not making seals a priority over other animals. In fact, Friends of Animals vocally opposes the so-called "seafood" boycott for that very reason. As a vegetarian organization Friends of Animals has consistently worked to oppose the breeding of animals for human consumption, urging the public to "Spare an animal, Eat a vegetable." Opposing the seal hunt is part of Friends of Animals overall vegan-centered mission to free animals from cruelty and institutional exploitation around the world. Friends of Animals does not see this as either/or. It is possible to work to end both the slaughter of seals and the breeding of animals for slaughter. Obviously Canadian residents have other options available for influencing their own government, and we encourage them to take advantage of those options. The travel boycott is meant to empower the international community whose options are limited by comparison.]

Boycot Canada until stopping killing the baby seal. Stop this barbarie!!

First off, let's stop calling this a hunt; it's not. It's slaughter plain and simple. Each day Canada does nothing to end this madness brings more comdemnation from the rest of the world. BTW: To the person who suggests we should "Get a real job and start contributing to Canada", we have real jobs and we WILL NOT CONTRIBUTE ANYTHING TO CANADA until this slaughter has ended!


Add new comment