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Help End Canada's Baby-Seal Slaughter

Every year in Canada during the fishing offseason, fishers shoot and beat tens of thousands of baby seals to death and sell their pelts on the international fur market. Sealers routinely hook seals in the eye, cheek, or mouth and drag them across the ice while they are still conscious. Seals can be legally killed as soon as they shed their white fur at just a few weeks of age, and most of those killed are under 3 months.

The good news is that Canada's annual commercial seal slaughter is hanging on by a thread. With bans firmly in place across Europe, the U.S., Taiwan, Mexico, and Russia—which had been importing 95 percent of Canada's seal pelts—the writing is on the wall: The seal trade is finished. The only reason the Canadian government continues to defend this dead industry is because political parties crave Newfoundland's swing seats in Parliament. But as this editorial shows, even local sentiment is turning, and the lack of markets has led Canadian officials to examine seriously whether the slaughter should end.

We've reached a tipping point, and seals need your help now. Please take a moment to urge Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Gail Shea, Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird, and Minister of International Trade Ed Fast to help bring the commercial seal slaughter to an immediate end by supporting a government buyout.

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