World Wildlife Fund Supports the Seal Hunt
And Responds to Inquiries with Misinformation
Would the World Wildlife Fund Have Supported the Slaughter of the Passenger Pigeon?
You Bet they Would. That's why they Support the Canadian Seal Slaughter Today.
If the World Wildlife Fund had existed in the 19th Century, they would have indeed supported both the commercial exploitation and the recreational hunting of the passenger pigeon. After all there were millions of them, and WWF supports both the commercial slaughter and recreational killing of wildlife. But of course they would have mounted a big fund-raising effort to save the last few survivors during the first decade of the 20th Century.
The World Wildlife Fund would have led the prayer vigil for Martha, the last Passenger pigeon as she lay dying in her cage at the Cincinnati Zoo in 1914. Today they are doing this with the harp seal.
The WWF is supporting the increased kill quotas and has endorsed the largest slaughter of marine mammals on the planet.
The World Wildlife Fund has long been a haven for big game hunters, hunters, trappers, fur farmers, commercial fishing corporations, and other enemies of animals. Now the World Wildlife Fund has publicly endorsed the largest marine wildlife slaughter in the world.
This statement below is taken directly from the website of the World Wildlife Fund Canada:
What WWF is Not!
WWF is not an animal welfare organization. We support the hunting and consumption of wild animals provided the harvesting does not threaten the long-term survival of wildlife populations. WWF has never opposed a sustainable seal hunt in northern or eastern Canada.
Whoa - where does this word sustainable come from?
The East Coast slaughter of harp seals is not an Inuit or native subsistence hunt. It is a Canadian government-subsidized slaughter. The quotas since 2003 have been some of the largest quotas ever. There is nothing sustainable about these numbers and the government has not produced one peer reviewed scientific study to justify such numbers. In fact, their own scientists have noted a decline in the seal population recently.
Yet the World Wildlife Fund endorses this hunt because the Government of Canada has requested that they do so. The question must be asked: Does the WWF serve the interests of the Canadian government or does it serve the interests of wildlife?
Famed French film actress Brigitte Bardot sent a letter to Chief Emeka Anyaoku, the President of the World Wildlife Fund. In her letter Brigitte said:
"I wish to share with you my profound indignation, deep sadness and disgust concerning the position of World Wildlife Fund Canada supporting the new quota decided by the government, the hunt of one million seals over a period of three years! How can an organization that you preside over and that has no need to prove its reputation in the domain of the conservation of species anymore, defend such a scandalous position. I went to the ice pack more than 25 years ago, I saw the massacre of these baby seals, their head smashed by clubs and picks, I saw these bleeding bodies, these babies struggling for life whilst being skinned. I will never forget these pictures, the screams of pain, they still torture me but they have given me the strength to sacrifice my whole life to defend the animal's one.
I have often supported WWF, given my image to some of its programmes, and I feel betrayed, it has attacked my most symbolic battle. It is easy and unfair to accuse the seals of consuming too much fish when, during the same period of time, floating factories decimate the sea beds, transforming this natural richness into an aquatic desert. Seals are victims of overflowing industrial fishing and definitely not responsible for the deterioration of the populations, they are also victims of the climatic changes and are directly threatened by the melting of the ice.
Our duty is to protect them before it's too late!"
Below is a letter that one of the list members recently received from the World Wildlife Fund in Britain.
Thank you for your e-mail about WWF's position on the Harp Seal off Canada's East Coast. Please accept my apologies for the delay in responding to you.
I can appreciate your concern about this issue and would like to assure you that WWF does not support a "cull" of east coast seal populations - or of any seal populations. However, WWF does not actively oppose the annual hunt by indigenous people as long as the hunt is of no threat to the population of over 5 million harp seals, and is based on a scientifically based management programme.
As you may know, in many localities, we work very closely with local indigenous peoples, to build a sustainable future for both their communities and the populations of wildlife on which they depend for their very subsistence. For instance, we work in co-operation with the Inuit who have lived in harmony with nature for generations in the Nunavut Territory of Canada's Arctic. WWF is convinced that hunting, fishing and gathering by Inuit in Nunavut is the only real option to protect the environment from far more damaging industrial uses of the landscape and the seas. In other words if one denies the rights of these indigenous people to hunt, fish and gather wildlife in Nunavut, much of this wildlife would be lost forever.
WWF is a conservation organisation with a clear mandate to protect and conserve habitats and populations of the world's most endangered species, from local as well as global threats. WWF is not an animal welfare organisation, but takes every care when working with animals to ensure that they are treated as well as can be, and that if animals are killed it is done as humanely as possible. Other organisations work specially on animal welfare issues; we value their work and expertise, but it is not our focus.
We recognise that you may continue to disagree with our position on this issue. I can assure you, however, that WWF is committed to providing and acting on the most up-to-date and scientifically accurate information possible for the long-term protection of wildlife.
Thank you once again for taking the time to contact us and for your past support of WWF.
Supporter Care Executive
Telephone: 01483 426333 (lines open 9:00am to 5:30pm, Monday to Friday)
Captain Paul Watson of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Responds Point by Point
The World Wildlife Fund in Canada has defended the East Coast slaughter of harp seals repeatedly. The WWF does not inactively oppose the slaughter either. The WWF takes the government's word on population estimates without question and presents no evidence of a "scientifically based management programme." There is no scientifically based management programme.
[Regarding the assertions about indigenous subsistence hunting] This is where the World Wildlife Fund is being deliberately misleading. The East Coast Canadian slaughter of seals for which there is a quota this year of 350,000 does not have a single indigenous person participating in the hunt. Not one. Why is this? Because the indigenous people of Newfoundland were exterminated, the last one dying in 1912. There are no indigenous people in Newfoundland and there are none living in the Magdalen Islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The Inuit living in the far north do not participate in this hunt. They hunt primarily ring seals and sometimes a few adult harps but only north of the David Strait in the summer. These seals being slaughtered are off the coast of Newfoundland and in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
The harp seals are not being taken for local subsistence use. The seals are being killed as "scapegoats" for the excessive industrial fishing that exterminated the cod fish on Canada's East Coast. The Canadian government is appeasing the fishermen by subsidizing the present slaughter and telling them that if the seals are removed, the fish will return. This position has no scientific backing. In fact, the reverse is true. Harp seals prey upon fish that prey upon cod. By reducing the number of seals, the population of predatory fish increases causing a further decline in cod.
The Canadian seal slaughter is grossly inhumane with animals wounded and dying beneath the ice and with numerous documented cases of baby seals skinned alive.
There is not a single peer-reviewed scientific study yet published to support the sustainabilty of the seal hunt. All the so called science comes from Canadian government sponsored biostitutes who say what they are paid to say. Independent scientists like Dr. David Lavigne of Guelph, Ontario, Canada have presented evidence for many years to back up the need for a moratorium on the killing.
To contact WWF via email, click here
You can also reach them by mail, phone or fax:
245 Eglinton Ave. East, Suite 410
Toronto, ON M4P 3J1
Canada Phone: 1-800-26-PANDA
In the Toronto area: (416) 489-8800
Fax: (416) 489-8055