Great news on the Harp seals! A Canadian legislator has finally been able to introduce legislation to end the slaughter

Good news from Canada! Liberal Sen. Mac Harb's anti-seal hunt bill will finally be the subject of debate in the Senate thanks to the support of fellow Liberal Senator Larry Campbell who will allow his bill to move toward second-reading debate. Harb said Wednesday marks a historical turn of events, with both parties in the Senate voting unanimously to allow debate.

Sen. Harb also credits constituents’ opposition to the seal hunt and massive letter-writing campaigns that have pleaded with parliamentarians to end the seal slaughter. “Every step, every call, every email, every letter makes a difference,” Harb said.

Harb is the only senator who has openly opposed the seal hunt and will try once again Wednesday to table a bill that would prohibit non-Aboriginal commercial fishing for seals in Canadian waters. This is his 3rd attempt to do this as he has tried twice before, in 2010 and 2009, to introduce his bill. Unfortunately in the past every time he stood up in the Senate and asked his peers for support, he was met with silence. This time senators from different parties have indicated their support to him.

The department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada estimates there are about 5,000 to 7,000 sealers. The seal hunt used to be worth several million dollars, but the price of pelts has shot downwards with the closure of markets in Europe and now in Russia. The commercial industry is worth a fraction of what it once was.

Rebecca Aldworth, executive director of Humane Society International/Canada, issued the following statement in support of Canadian Sen. Mac Harb's bill to end Canada's commercial seal hunt.

"We've recently returned from the East Coast of Canada, where we observed yet another year of exceptionally poor sea ice conditions and massive seal pup mortality as a result. Yet instead of taking action to protect the seals, the Canadian government authorized sealers to club and shoot every surviving seal pup they found.

Despite a record high quota for harp seals and millions of dollars of government assistance for the sealing industry, the 2012 sealing season has been a bust for sealers. Even the artificial life support provided by unwilling taxpayers cannot keep this globally condemned, senseless slaughter alive. Between market and sea ice conditions, the end of the seal slaughter is inevitable.

Senator Harb's bill is timely and would effectively end the commercial seal slaughter in Canada. HSI/Canada further proposes that any legislation to end the seal slaughter be paired with a federal sealing industry buyout. This plan would involve the federal government ending the commercial seal slaughter, providing immediate compensation to sealers and investing in economic alternatives in the communities involved. Polling shows half of sealers holding an opinion are already in support of this plan and the overwhelming majority of Canadians are willing to fund it. Given sealers and other Canadians are willing to move beyond commercial sealing, it is time our government acted."

VIDEO A Cute Baby Seal Look For Mother

Please sign the petition below and add your support for Senator Harb's anti-sealing bill.

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