March 24, 2006 17:50 ET


THE HUMANE SOCIETY OF CANADA STARTS OFF FUND WITH $ 10,000 DONATION Attention: Assignment Editor, News Editor TORONTO, ON--(CCNMatthews - March 24, 2006) - On the eve of a massive global protest that continues to harm Canada's economy and reputation, The Humane Society of Canada is urging Premier Danny Williams of Newfoundland & Labrador and Prime Minister Steven Harper to implement a program to buy back licences to end the seal hunt. Copies of the letters to the Prime Minister and the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador can be found on our website. And the animal charity is putting its money where its mouth is, by sending a letter along with a cheque for $ 10,000 to Prime Minister Harper and Premier Williams to start the ball rolling.

"More than ever before, Canadians know that the seal hunt is one of growing international concern. The Humane Society of Canada promises to enlist the goodwill of Canadians and other members of the global community to match dollar for dollar the amount of money pledged by the federal government to buy back licences from sealers and to stimulate ecotourism. No more boycotts, no more harm to the Canadian economy, no more global protests. It's a good deal for the people of Canada and it's a good deal for animals," said HSC Chairman & CEO, Michael O'Sullivan.

The animal charity says that the tremendous global interest and the millions of dollars raised to end the seal hunt is proof positive that people will pay to see seals in their natural habitat. "Nine of out ten Canadians already support the protection and not the killing of wildlife. Whale watching generates more than $ 1.2 billion worldwide, and a single African elephant contributes over $ 1 million in ecotourism revenues throughout the animal's lifetime. Carefully structured ecotourism generates significant income across a wide range of economic sectors and improves the lives of people and animals," he says.

The Humane Society of Canada's message is simple and can be found here: "Killing seals. The numbers just don't add up. You could not find any clear thinking businessman or woman who would invest a single dollar of private money in Canada's seal hunt. So why should the rest of Canadians see their hard earned tax dollars going to support this failing industry?" asks O'Sullivan.

The animal charity knows that federal politicians would be only too happy to end the annual seal slaughter but only if they are asked to by their provincial counterparts in Newfoundland & Labrador. This was underscored recently when Prime Minister Stephen Harper granted full authority to Premier Danny Williams to speak on behalf of all Canadians concerning the seal slaughter.

"For more than three decades, the seal hunt sanctioned by politicians using our tax dollars has cast a long shadow over our international reputation and the slaughter continues to lock the people who kill seals into a seemingly endless cycle of economic despair and brutal violence. No culture in the world encourages the slaughter of a young animal in sight of the animal's mother," says O'Sullivan who for the last 35 years has worked across Canada and in over 95 countries around the world.

"We believe that the only sure path to the revitalization of the region is to lay a strong foundation based upon economic diversification. The sustainable non-consumptive use of wildlife through carefully structured ecotourism is one element of that foundation. Thriving businesses have shown that Canadians and tourists from around the world will support ecotourism and that they are prepared to pay for it," said O'Sullivan.

O'Sullivan believes that Stephen Harper and Danny Williams have the wisdom and the foresight to end the annual cycle of violence that harms people and animals and bring to a close the protests which have plagued Canada for more than three decades. "Boycotts of fish products, tourism and even the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver are going to cost Canadians hundreds of millions of dollars. Every time a seal pup is killed, the shockwaves are felt across the country. The seal hunt is a bad deal for the people of Canada and it's a bad deal for animals," says O'Sullivan. "A single telephone call from Premier Danny Williams to Prime Minister Steven Harper could change all of that."

The Humane Society of Canada's proposal is built on the Canadian model which provides subsidies to industries in transition, crop shortfalls, and to those who find themselves out of work and subject to other economic disparities. "For example, during 2005-2006 alone, the people of Newfoundland & Labrador will receive more than $1.5 billion in tax dollars from the rest of Canada to help them. Why can't we help just a little more by raising the money to buy back their sealing licences and end the seal hunt for good?"

The official position of Federal politicians and of Provincial politicians can be found on our website.

"We need new solutions to an old problem and we share the views of Premier Williams and Prime Minister Harper that people living in Newfoundland & Labrador need more jobs and more hope. In our view, forcing them to "make do" by engaging in the brutal killing of seal pups provides neither," says O'Sullivan. "For the sake of Canadians and animals, we are willing to work with all interested parties to bring an end to the violence and killing; and we hope they are willing to become a part of this "made in Canada" solution.

CONTACT: Michael O'Sullivan by toll free 1-800-641-KIND or Michael on his cell phone (416) 876-9685 or at

[A father with two children, and a houseful of dogs and cats, O'Sullivan has worked across Canada and in over 95 countries during the last 35 years helping people, animals and nature.]

The Humane Society of Canada works to protect dogs, cats, horses, birds, livestock, lab animals, wildlife and the environment. They carry out hands on programs to help animals and nature, mount rescue operations, expose cruelty through hard hitting undercover investigations, work to pass laws to protect animals, funds non-invasive scientific research, support animal shelters and wildlife rehabilitation centres and spread the word about how to help animals and nature through humane education.

A registered charity, The Humane Society of Canada depends entirely on donations to support our programs to help animals and the environment. All donations are gratefully acknowledged with a receipt for income tax purposes. If you would like to support our campaign to end the seal hunt please make a donation here. Because when it comes to fighting cruelty, we don't give up. Ever.
/For further information:

Contact Information

  • Michael O'Sullivan, Executive Director, The Humane Society of Canada
    Primary Phone: 416-368-0405
    Secondary Phone: 416-876-9685
    Toll-Free: 800-641-5463