MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - June 13, 2013) - Rebecca Aldworth, executive director of Humane Society International/Canada, issued the following statement regarding the $5,000 reward that has been paid by HSI/Canada to a local resident of Prince Edward Island, who provided information leading to the arrest of three persons responsible for the vicious killings of more than 50 grey seals on P.E.I. in Jan. 2013:
"Months ago, three individuals viciously beat 50 nursing grey seal pups and their mothers to death on a beach in P.E.I. We are so pleased that our $5,000 reward helped to bring these people to justice.
Scientific studies tell us that there is a direct link between animal cruelty and violence against people. For the sake of both the seals and the broader community, it is our hope that the sentencing in this case will fully reflect the seriousness of the offense.
It is for good reason that Canada's Marine Mammal Regulations make it an offence to interfere with seals without lawful authority, while our Criminal Code forbids causing needless suffering to animals. It is our hope that these considerations are at the forefront of the sentencing decision."
- Students from the Charlottetown based Atlantic Veterinary College found the dead and dying grey seals on Jan. 25 on a P.E.I. beach. The abused animals included both young pups and adult seals.
- On Feb.1, Pierre Yves Daoust of the Atlantic Veterinary College confirmed that necropsies revealed the seals had severely fractured skulls.
- On Feb. 1, HSI/Canada offered a $1,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of the persons responsible for the seal killings.
- Thanks to contributions from people in P.E.I., other parts of Canada, and the United States, HSI/Canada was able to increase the reward amount on Feb. 5 to $5,000.
- On Feb. 19, the RCMP charged three teenage boys, aged 15, 17 and 18 with causing unnecessary suffering to animals in the seal killings.
- The three individuals pled guilty to the charges weeks later, and HSI Canada paid the $5,000 reward to the individual who helped identify the offenders.
- The 18 year old offender will be sentenced on June 13, while the other two boys will be sentenced as young offenders at a later date.
Humane Society International/Canada is a leading force for animal protection, with active programs in companion animals, wildlife and habitat protection, marine mammal preservation, farm animal welfare and animals in research. HSI/Canada is proud to be a part of Humane Society International which, together with its partners, constitutes one of the world's largest animal protection organizations. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide - on the Web at www.hsicanada.ca