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Activists Return to Seal Hunt Despite Gun Threats


Assaulted Activists Return to Seal Hunt Despite Gun Threats – Auckland Animal Action

Protest against the Canadian commercial seal hunt: the largest mass slaughter of marine animals in the world.

Protesters will meet at 12.00 noon at the Albert Park fountain in Auckland April 12th (tomorrow) and walk down to take their message against seal hunting to the Canadian consulate at 48 Emily Place, on the 9th Floor. A protest in Wellington will be held at 12 noon at the Canadian High Commission on 61 Molesworth Street by the Wellington Animal Rights Network.


Auckland Animal Action is holding the demonstration in conjunction with international protests and a national day of action against the Canadian seal slaughter. The action is also in solidarity with the Farley Mowat, the flagship of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, which is returning to bare witness to the second stage of the seal massacre.

“It is heroic that members of the Farley Mowat are returning to observe and document the mass slaughter of seals despite having been assaulted by seal hunters twelve days ago. The crew are putting their lives at risk by ignoring recent gun threats to bring this atrocity to the attention of the international public” said Auckland Animal Action spokesperson Deirdre Sims.

Twelve days ago, protesters from the Sea Shepherd Conservation society and a film crew were on the ice filming the start of the seal massacre when hunters turned on them and attacked with clubs and pick axes. Several activists were injured but the Canadian Coast guard arrested the activists not the hunters. The assaulted activists included Lisa Shalom, a 21 year old former New Zealand resident and former member of Auckland Animal Action, who was repeatedly punched in the stomach.

“Despite the Sea Shepherd being a non-violent organisation, the hunters see the conversation society’s video cameras as a weapon because they realise that it is the images of brutality that will bring an end to their bloody industry” she said.

“Lisa has emailed New Zealand supporters graphic accounts of seeing baby seals trying to escape being hit with clubs by wriggling away, only then to witness their brains exploding across the ice. Lisa says the Canadian colours have a whole new meaning these days - lots of red and white” Ms Sims said. [1]

“The seals are unnecessarily slaughtered for vanity and luxury items. 95% of the seals killed are babies less than four weeks old and research has shown that almost half of the babies are skinned alive” she said.

“Scientists and environmentalists also warn that the industry is a risk to biodiversity, threatening not only the survival of the seal species but also the survival of cod” she concluded.

Auckland Animal Action is demanding the Canadian Authorities to drop the charges against Lisa and her fellow activists, and to end the bloody seal trade.

Auckland Animal Action is calling for all kiwis to join the international boycott against Canadian seafoods and send messages of support to Sea Shepherd at info@seashepherd.org

ENDS

BROADCAST QUALITY VIDEO FOOTAGE AND IMAGES OF ASSAULTS ARE AVAILABLE AT: http://media.seashepherd2.org/

Auckland Animal Action can be contacted on: 021-175-1399, aucklandanimalaction@yahoo.co.nz or http://www.aucklandanimalaction.org.nz

For the latest Sea Shepherd news: http://www.seashepherd.org/news.html

[1] Recent email from Lisa Shalom:

“I've spent part of this last week hanging out with these incredible creatures. They're the cutest things on the face of the planet for starters - it's amazing how they each have very distinctive personalities and appearances. I would describe them as being kind of like ice puppies. Some of them lie on their backs to be scratched, some of them bark at you, some of them are shy at first and then they come round, some of them don't move at all, most are so trusting... they're fascinating and humbling. It makes you catch your breath to make eye contact. That they are viewed as a commodity in the eyes of some implies the unspeakable atrocity we’ve witnessed being committed day in, day out.”

“I've spent the other portion of this week observing and documenting baby seals being ruthlessly bashed on the head with primitive hooked sticks. Watching the clubbers methodically make their way across the ice and smash to death every single pup in sight. Watching the seals try to escape as fast as they can wriggle their little bodies across the ice with nowhere to hide. Watching their brains explode across the ice. Watching them being dragged away by the skull to be skinned while still alive and writhing. Watching the sealers pile the skinned babies bodies back onto the ice to rot in a pools of blood. Staring in horror at the bulging, pleading eyeballs of the skinned seals staring back at me in horror. Watching the beautiful white landscape turn a deep red... watching the coast guard ships and helicopters put themselves between us and the killers in attempts to deter our efforts to thwart this barbarism. The Canadian colours have a whole new meaning these days - lots of red and white burning in my brain.”

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