Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Humane Society of the United States Denied Permit to Observe Second Round of Canadian Baby Seal Slaughters: Will Take Corrupt Canadian Govt. to Court

This is the first time this has happened. Things have become so corrupt and sneaky via the Canadian government that a group will now have to expend resources to defend their constitutional rights. It really shows how closely the government is tied to the Seal slaughter. They’re actually trying to prevent the world from seeing the truth.

A few quotes from the article below.

“On Monday, the society learned that its applications for renewed permits to observe the second phase of the hunt, expected to get underway next week off the north shores of Newfoundland and Labrador, had been denied.”

"The Department of Fisheries and Oceans and Loyola Hearn is trying to hide the cruelty that they know goes on in this slaughter every single year," Aldworth said.

"The only disruption that occurs to the commercial seal hunt is when images of it are broadcast around the world and the global markets for seal products close, and that is why Loyola Hearn wants to bar observation of this hunt."


Article:


U.S. animal-rights group heading to court after observer permits denied

http://news.yahoo.com/s/cpress/20060403/

ca_pr_on_na/seal_hunt_observers_4

LAUREN LA ROSE Mon Apr 3, 6:23 PM ET

TORONTO (CP) - Claims that observers interfered with the East Coast seal hunt are a "setup" by Fisheries Minister Loyola Hearn and his ministry to protect the practice and the industry from public scrutiny, a leading U.S. animal-rights group charged Monday.

The Humane Society of the United States held a news conference to denounce the treatment of its personnel by department officials while they were observing the seal hunt on the Gulf of St. Lawrence two weeks ago.

Rebecca Aldworth, the group's Canadian wildlife issues director, accused Hearn and the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans of waging a campaign to discredit their efforts.

"The Department of Fisheries and Oceans and Loyola Hearn is trying to hide the cruelty that they know goes on in this slaughter every single year," Aldworth said.

"The only disruption that occurs to the commercial seal hunt is when images of it are broadcast around the world and the global markets for seal products close, and that is why Loyola Hearn wants to bar observation of this hunt."

Three of the group's members, including Aldworth, were among five observers banned from the hunt early last week after they were arrested March 26 when their inflatable boat apparently got too close to a sealing vessel in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

It's believed to be the first time a fisheries minister has exercised that authority.

On Monday, the society learned that its applications for renewed permits to observe the second phase of the hunt, expected to get underway next week off the north shores of Newfoundland and Labrador, had been denied.

Aldworth said the society will seek an injunction to allow it to continue watching the hunt.

"All this does is essentially remove our most experienced people from the operation and I think that puts our observers at risk," she said.

"I think that's reckless on the part of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans."

Department spokesman Phil Jenkins denied that the U.S. Humane Society was being targeted, insisting that officials apply equal standards to observers and sealers to ensure they adhere to the law.

"Our enforcement is there to make sure that the hunt is carried on orderly and safely and within the regulations, and it makes no distinction between who might be violating or allegedly violating a regulation," Jenkins said.

"These regulations apply evenly to observers and to sealers."

Jenkins refused to talk about the ongoing investigation, which is being led by the RCMP and Fisheries Department officials.

Steve Outhouse, a spokesman for Hearn, said last week that as long as the five observers, including two foreign journalists, are under investigation, the permits they hold will not be renewed.

If those arrested are charged and convicted, they would be banned from the ice for five years, he added.

At the news conference, Aldworth showed video of the incident in question, which she said clearly shows the inflatable boats of the observers remaining more than 10 metres away from the sealing vessels, as is required by law.

It wouldn't be of any benefit to the group to interfere in a way that would cause them to forfeit their observer permits, she added. "It's not in our interest to lose our permits."

Aldworth also said the group's right to observe in public spaces is protected under the Charter, making permits unnecessary and the observation ban a violation of constitutional rights.

This year's hunt has been targeted by high-profile celebrities like Paul McCartney, Brigitte Bardot and Pamela Anderson in recent weeks, calling on Canada to end the centuries-old practice.

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