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Kiwis urged to boycott travel to Canada

Kiwis urged to boycott travel to Canada

A ‘seal slaughter’ and march will be staged in Christchurch as part of a worldwide call for an international boycott of Canada unless it immediately stops clubbing to death 320,000 harp and hooded seals. The planned mass slaughter is the latest phase of Canada’s barbaric annual seal slaughter programme.

National animal advocacy organisation SAFE is calling for New Zealand travel agencies to use their industry influence to support the international boycott by encouraging New Zealanders to avoid travelling to Canada. Activists will today march to inner-city travel agencies where they will deliver a letter seeking each agency’s support, while a ‘seal slaughter’ is enacted outside.

“The demonstration coincides with the first day of the second and largest phase of the seal kill on the Labrador Front in the Newfoundland region. During the first phase last week, it was estimated over 90,000 seal pups were brutally clubbed to death using hooked pick axes. A former SAFE employee Lisa Shalom, now working for the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, was physcially assaulted by the sealers while trying to film the slaughter with ten other marine activists”, said SAFE spokesperson Sacha Dowell.

“We understand the majority of the seals killed were less than twelve weeks old. Many were skinned alive by sealers heavily subsidised by the Canadian government. The bodies and skins are used to make fur coats and Asian aphrodisiacs.”

Harp seal populations in Atlantic Canada were once estimated at around 24 million but pollution, global warming and destruction of the marine ecosystem has depleted seal numbers by 80 per cent. Marine conservationists fear the latest slaughter will have a catastrophic effect on the remaining seal population.

SAFE activists will meet at 3 pm today in Cashel Mall, Christchurch.

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