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"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:


As a Green Party member I appreciate the push for sustainable practices in labor and environmental activities. I do not support the culling of seals and therefore will also boycott Canada and its products.

Boycott Canada until (they) stop killing the baby seals. Stop this barbarie!!

Why can't you people see what is right in front of your eyes... Over 300,000 people have been killed in the Darfur regeion of sudan. In a much more barbaric way then these seals have. Out of the blue raiders come with machetes and guns. First they kill the men and fathers then the mothers, then they make the kids march all the way to Northern Sudan to be slaves for the rest of their lives. Not to mention all the refugees. You guys turn the other way and look at a couple of fisher man trying to make a living. You guys complain about how the department of fisheries refused 16 million to buy back fishing licenses. If you took a step back and looked at the problem you would see that it is impossible for the money to be accepted. Everyone with a fishing licence would have to give it up. What if they didn't want to? Are you gonna force them? If you do your breaking the law. What about the Inuit who have been doing this for 1000s of years. Are you going to tell them to stop to? Even though it was had no environmental impact. Many still need to do this for food. If you say that they can still do it then you are discriminating against white fisherman. Polar bears do this too as well you know. I don't tell you guys to stop being vegatarines. What gives you guys the right to tell me I shouldn't hunt. I don't hunt seal but I hunt other stuff. You live in a different part of the world, you have no right to make me change my ways. Not only that your site is incorrect. The cute baby seal that is shown on the "Take action" tab of the screen, wouldn't be killed. It has a white coat, only the grey coats are killed, so technically babies arn't killed. What i'm getting at is don't tell me how to live my life, I don't tell you how to live yours. [ Blog editors' note: Technically, babies are killed. Babies are 12 days old and three weeks old. We live in such a violent culture; all attempts to bring an end this to miserable commercial slaughter should be advanced. The Canadian government should stop bolstering its annual killing of seals, and quit spending taxpayers' monies to market those seal skins. If consumers would shun fur, that would change the world, and extend respect to many animals who help keep the earth alive. As a major economic power, Canada has an oblogation to find alternative livelihooods for residents in econmically depressed areas like Newfoundland. They should get started now. The seals don't belong to anyone but themselves.]

It's time for change. Learn a different way to live and make money to save these innocent animals from slaughter! Change is good, especially when it's the right thing to do . . .

I am a long time "Friend of Animals"; but I must take exception to your latest posting. Canadian kids and people of conscience are doing the best they can up North for all the rights of animals, including the seal hunt issue. My two children live in Ontario and we come up @ every 1-2 months to visit. Please don't ask people to "Boycott Canada". Canada is a beautiful, caring country, full of bright young people who care about the whole world! Remember; "act locally, think globally?"; we're all doing what we can!-Peter G. [Blog editors' note: Many Canadian residents welcome the interventions and travel boycott as the target for criticism is the Canadian government -- not the people. May all of the caring and economic pressure get through to the politicians.]

Oh and one other thing. Boycott all you want. Let's see you boycott our oil once the Arabs have had enough of you. The boycott should go over real well once Americas' fresh water supply is irrepairably polluted. Maybe you all should tear your houses down and remove all that offensive Canadian lumber too. ...and a tourism boycott? Like we don't have enough liberal, rice cake eating, knee jerk acting morons up here already! Just remember, this is probably the only tourist region left in the world where the hunting and killing of innocent Americans (of any age) is frowned upon. Go can always travel to some more tropical locale like, say, Venezuela. Now shut up and buy a fur coat.

I just can't imagine how these human beings can kill a baby seal. Maybe they should go out & hunt each other.. now that sounds like it might be fun for these blood thirsty homo sapien knuckle scrapers!

I am disgusted by Canada and fully support the boycott. Not only will I not buy Canadian seafood but I will also not visit there nor buy products labeled "Made in Canada". Their whole economy needs to feel the impact because just boycotting seafood doesn't seem to be getting their attention. I was so hopeful that the new Canadian PM would put a stop to this slaughter but he doesn't seem to care one bit. I would expect to see millions of Canadians out in the streets protesting this but it seems they don't care.

How is it cowardly to make a living? People who hunt seal arn't doing for the money, they are doing for survival. They are barely getting by as it is. If you think that it is for greed, you don't know anything about this issue and are nothing but an iggnorant teenager. So don't bother saying it. Like I said before 300,000 people(not seals) killed in Sudan. Try helping them out for a change. [Blog editors' note: Not sure the Sundanese consider Tim their mentor, or that he has much of a lead to follow. Tim surmises a human rights tragedy should eliminate the issue of whether Canada has an obligation to provide livelihoods for humans living in the most impoverished region of Canda. Wrong; it doesn't. ]



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