Actress Pamela Anderson asks Justin Trudeau to cut federal aid for the seal hunt

The Canadian
The Canadian Press
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Pamela Anderson is hoping Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will hear her out on behalf of seals.

Keith Gosse/The Telegram
During a People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals event, Pamela Anderson(in sunglasses) and The Simpsons producer Sam Simon (second from right) tried to offer $1 million to the Canadian Sealers Association to end the seal hunt in this file photo.

In a letter to Trudeau, the Canadian-born actress asks him to meet her to discuss phasing out or ending federal subsidies for the East Coast commercial seal hunt.

Anderson writes in the letter obtained by The Canadian Press that Ottawa has poured millions of taxpayers’ dollars into propping up the fading industry.

The honorary director of the PETA animal-rights group says the money could be better spent promoting businesses with a brighter future that would help the world see Canada as a sophisticated, enlightened country.

The former star of the TV series “Baywatch’’ is among several prominent figures including U.S. President Barack Obama and music legend Paul McCartney who have spoken out against the hunt.

Anderson notes that major markets such as the European Union, the United States and Russia have all banned seal-fur products over animal-welfare concerns.

With limited market options, the commercial hunt in Canada has shrunk in recent years. Hunters landed 38,000 harp seals last year, compared with 55,000 in 2014 and 91,000 in 2013.

The former Conservative government steadfastly defended the commercial hunt as beneficial for local economies, humane and well regulated. In recent years, the federal government has invested in programs to promote seal meat in domestic and foreign markets.

Critics have long insisted it’s a cruel, unnecessary slaughter.

Anderson wrote in her letter to Trudeau on Monday that she admires his progressive views on LGBT rights, his compassionate stance on the Syrian refugee crisis and his decision to name a gender-balanced cabinet.

“There’s another issue that has sullied Canada at home and abroad for years, which I hope you’ll address: wasteful government bailouts of the nearly extinct East Coast commercial seal trade,’’ she wrote.

“I urge you to usher in a new era of fiscal responsibility and kindness by ending federal subsidies of the commercial seal slaughter...

“I hope to hear that you will be available in the coming weeks to discuss this important issue in a more official setting.’’

Organizations: Canadian Press, PETA, European Union

Geographic location: Canada, East Coast, United States Ottawa Russia

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Recent comments

  • What?
    March 02, 2016 - 12:13

    The washed up porn star must be low on cash and needs some publicity.

  • Rosie
    March 02, 2016 - 10:56

    I'm glad Pam is speaking out about the cruel seal slaughter, which is a blight on Canada's image and wastes tax dollars. And for everyone commenting about what happens on factory farms--you do know Pam is a vegan, right? She also protests cruelties against pigs, cows, chickens, and other animals. And the fact that abuse of animals exists elsewhere doesn't make the seal slaughter okay.

    • paul
      March 02, 2016 - 21:06

      she also uses or has used medicines derived from animal experiments. ask her about her life with Hep C and treatment for it.

  • steve
    March 02, 2016 - 06:43

    How can you tell a vegan? you don,t have to, they will tell you! bring on da flippers and gravy!

  • JennofurOConnor
    March 02, 2016 - 05:35

    Bravo, Pamela! Thank you for being a hero for animals. The seal massacre is indefensible.

  • Ed Hong
    March 01, 2016 - 20:19

    In response to Pamela Anderson's letter to the Prime Minister regarding the abolition of the East Coast Seal Hunt... Let's set something straight... She is /was a Canadian...Obviously not a true Canadian because if she did some homework, which in and of itself, might be a foreign concept to her, she would find that when the Seal hunt was preyed upon by Green Peace and McGyver and Obama, she would possibly understand just how much of a negative impact it had on a tremendous amount of people... The seal herd has escalated to almost six (6) million as a result of revised quotas, hundreds of thousands of Canadians and foreign workers were thrown to the sharks, and as a Baywatch beauty, she would have a little knowledge how destructive that species could be... When that many seals prey upon unsuspecting Atlantic Cod fish, they take one bite of a fish, that fish would die and then the seal moves on to the next bite... multiply that by 6 million and an entire Fishing industry is devastated. As a result, hundreds of thousand people are thrown out of work in the processing sector, the world market, of which Atlantic Cod fish are a major integral part , also suffers...which only serves to broaden the impact. I don't think the capacity to understand the mathematics is there with these protagonists and that is why groups like Green Peace prey on them for money and public relations... The naivety of these front line spokespeople is scary at best. As for someone of Obama's position in the Global economic community to take this position, it begs of the true level of intellect that governs a nation like the U.S.A. Paul McCartney didn't even know what province he was in when he denounced the much for intellect... So the next time she and her merry band of superstars dine on a Salmon, they should give a thought as to how that fish managed to survive the voracious appetites of the seals only to be killed by humans to please their humane appetites .

  • Huck
    March 01, 2016 - 17:12

    Instead of banning the seal hunt; how about if we ban the use of untalented, silicone enhanced, B-movie, has beens who use their so called "celebrity" status to shake money out of bleeding hearts who don't know their arse from their elbow.

  • Grace
    March 01, 2016 - 17:00

    As a Canadian who lived in Newfoundland for five years, I am familiar with the politics of the annual seal slaughter. With the main markets for seal skins having evaporated, the so-called hunt continues only because of federal subsidies. Meanwhile, research into the issues has confirmed that there is no ecological justification for killing seals. With no economic or ecologic reasons for continuing the slaughter, it seems amply clear that the slaughter should be stopped.

    • paul james
      March 03, 2016 - 16:29

      what federal subsidies? and 'no ecological justificatoin?' just like the seal culls in EU countries, that ironically have banned seal products yet cull (shoot and leave to rot) thousands of seals every year, to manage the stocks in order to protect fish stocks...this is the hypocracy and idiocy of it all...these EU culls use the same methods to kill seals as our hunt does...shooting them. but they have no monitoring and no control, and do absolutely nothing with any part of the animals execpt let them go to the bottom. We shoot seals and sell the pelts and we are told there is no justification for the same people who cull their seals, or condone said cull. the stupidity 'rots' me.

  • Political Watcher
    March 01, 2016 - 16:49

    PETA - PEOPLE EATING TASTY ANIMALS! If God didn't want us eating animals he wouldn't have made them out of meat.

  • Chris
    March 01, 2016 - 15:30

    Maybe Pamela Anderson would like to comment on the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services report on PETA's pet kill. Check out:

    • Paula Renee
      March 01, 2016 - 16:30

      The majority of adoptable animals are never taken through PETA's doors, because PETA refers them to local adoption groups and walk-in animal shelters. PETA is a shelter of last resort--taking in the aged, sick, injured, and dying and offering them a painless release from suffering.

    • KimMarie
      March 01, 2016 - 16:31

      Not that old rag. If you want to real lowdown, check this out:

    • LucyP
      March 01, 2016 - 16:36

      That site is run by a front group for the meat industry, which has long tried to smear PETA and other animal protection groups in an attempt to distract from the real issues. See PETA has always spoken openly about the heartbreaking work they do for homeless, suffering, and unwanted animals in their community. They operate one small shelter, and it’s a shelter of last resort for animals who are suffering, dying, and have been rejected by limited-admission shelters: Providing a painless end for animals in misery is a kindness. If you care about stopping euthanasia, go after the people who make it necessary: breeders, puppy mills, pet stores, and irresponsible animal guardians.

    • Craig Shapiro
      March 01, 2016 - 17:02

      Chris, that site is run by shills for the meat industry and other corporations. PETA takes in the sick, injured and abandoned animals that "no-kill" shelters turn away. Tell me what's better, passing away peacefully in someone's arms or a long, painful, lonely death on the streets?

    • JennofurOConnor
      March 02, 2016 - 05:36

      PETA takes in all the animals that “no-kill” shelters shun: the elderly, aggressive, desperately ill, and injured as well as those who have spent their entire lives chained, aren’t housetrained or socialized, and aren’t suitable candidates for adoption. PETA’s doors are also open to animals who would otherwise face terrifying and sometimes even painful deaths at remote, rural “dog pounds” that don’t handle or euthanize animals humanely. PETA operates a “shelter of last resort” and offer a public service to animals who need and deserve a respectful, peaceful, and painless end and whose guardians can’t afford the cost of euthanasia at a veterinarian’s office.

    • Heather
      March 02, 2016 - 18:50

      This site is run by a group that's opposed to any organization that works to make the world a better place, including MADD. Not exactly a reliable source. But regardless, rather than blaming PETA or other animal protection groups that help homeless animals by promoting spaying and neutering and adoptions, why not point fingers at breeders, pet stores, and irresponsible people who allow animals to breed?

  • The Original Valleyer
    March 01, 2016 - 14:41

    Long gone are the days when the hakapik was the primary tool used in sealing despite the fact the Canadian Veterinary Medical Assn feels it a more humane tool than a firearm. No one "clubs" anymore. People need to see that the propaganda PETA et al display normally originated in the 60s and 70s when the industry was a little more barbaric. Today it is one of the most regulated hunts in the country. Once intelligent people actually do their research they will realize the spotlight grabbing has-beens of Hollywood are doing nothing more than attempting, albeit foolishly, to stay in the spotlight and feel relevant again. A sustained seal hunt actually benefits 2 industries directly ie sealing and fishing. It's high time our government realize this and proactively positively promote this industry.

    • FashionFan
      March 01, 2016 - 16:30

      Sorry but no. First of all, Pamela Anderson has been a staunch animal defender since her Baywatch days and she still works with PETA on a regular basis because she is a vegan and dedicated animal advocate who wants to use her celebrity for good. Secondly, you must be a seal slaughterer trying to defend your barbaric practice because PETA and tons of other animal organizations have photos and videos galore of sealers doing the very things you are claiming don't go on anymore. Third, A 2010 study by a professor at the University of Guelph found that ending the commercial seal slaughter would save Canadian taxpayers at least $7 million a year. There is no more market for seal fur, many many many nations have banned it, and the only reason why the government continues to prop up this dying industry is because both liberals and conservatives are desperate to control the swing seats in Canada’s Atlantic region. Go get em Pam!

  • Heather
    March 01, 2016 - 14:32

    Good for Pam! Killing seals and other animals is barbaric.

    • Dream On
      March 01, 2016 - 18:20

      Don't eat any hamburgers or hotdog!

  • paul
    March 01, 2016 - 12:12

    does PETA and other ARAs protest EU countries that cull their seal populations , for fishery management purposes? the methods they use to cull seals is exactly the same as ours, shooting, except that there is zero oversight or requirement to adhere to humane regulations (as I understand it). this is the sad thing abotu it, their cull kills the same as our hunt, yet is a complete waste of the animals they leave to rot in the bottom of the bay...and we are condemend for killing seals for their fur...making good use of them.

  • Paul
    March 01, 2016 - 11:17

    the hypocracy of PETA and its members is astounding. they oppose ALL use of animals, including service animals and pets, not just the seal hunt, as well, they oppose medical research using animals. Yet PETA reps like Anderson have relied on medication to treat serious illnesses, just like everyone else does, but while opposing said medications. how can you do both. the honourable , morally correct thing to do whoul be to refuse the treatment (if it was based on animal research) or reneg on your opposition to it. so PETA's position on the seal hunt should be seen in that light...they are hypocrits.

    • KimMarie
      March 01, 2016 - 16:33

      PETA loves companion animals. That's why they promote adoption. As for putting someone down who is promoting peace, that is just sad stuff.

  • Catgrrrl63
    March 01, 2016 - 11:03

    This disgusting slaughter is a throwback to a dark age in Canada's history. Hard to believe it's still going on.

    • Paul
      March 01, 2016 - 11:22

      what do you actually know about the seal hunt, or any animal hunts, slaughers? 95% of the seals taken are shot, just like animals that are hunted the world over, without anything like this level of opposition. however, most people are led to believe that most seals are beaten to death , or clubbed and skinned alive. which is utter nonsense. about 5% of seals taken are clubbed, which kills them instantly or stuns them beyond any recovery before being bled out and skinned. any videos you see online of a seal dying slowly is just that...a seal, one or two seals out of the tens of thousands killed each year. that's pretty good odds. however, that one suffering seal is sold to the uninformed, well intentioned , city dweller, as if its the norm. its not. its just not. but its a money maker, to pull the heart strings and open the pocket books of gullible people.

    • steve
      March 01, 2016 - 12:10

      So enlighten us on what you know about the history of this hunt and Nl itself .More like "troll back "if you ask me.

  • Fred
    March 01, 2016 - 10:47

    Well, I fully endorse the seal hunt. It is no different from any other hunt in which animals are killed; that includes pigs, cows, sheep, moose, bears, etc. Incidentally, don't tell the Polar Bears that the seals are cute and cuddly.

    • KimMarie
      March 01, 2016 - 16:34

      If you think seals are cute and cuddly, then why would you want them to be clubbed to death?

    • steve
      March 03, 2016 - 04:16

      get your facts straight.It is illegal to club seals.So stop spreading bullshit.

  • Donna J.
    March 01, 2016 - 10:42

    Pamela who?

    • John
      March 01, 2016 - 10:57

      Get a life Pamela.

  • Scott M
    March 01, 2016 - 10:41

    Groups like PETA and IFAW would hate to have the seal hunt abolished its one of there main fund raising objects . It's all about the money and a lot of it they make more off the seal than the sealers do. Sealing is a very sustainable harvest just look at the numbers If seals were not cute you wouldn't here boo from you guys . Now go have a Burger and educate yourselves about Seal's. Before you make comments based on emotions.

    • KimMarie
      March 01, 2016 - 16:35

      Is that why Russia, the U.S. and the U.K. have all banned seal fur?

  • Craig Shapiro
    March 01, 2016 - 09:55

    The Canadian government throws money at this horrid, dying industry because votes in the Eastern provinces are key to getting elected. I hope the PM read what Pam had to say.

  • KimMarie
    March 01, 2016 - 09:50

    Good for her! I am completely against the seal hunt, as is the majority of the public. It's time for Canada to stop this barbaric tradition once and for all.

    • Thomas
      March 01, 2016 - 10:50

      And we should add slaughter houses to the list as well - unless of course we give cattle an anesthetic to sedate them before we pop a slug to the head. Don't be so foolish. Worse things occur behind barn doors than occur on the ice flows. Visit the plant where they make hot dogs and Vienna sausages - you would never eat another.

  • LucyP
    March 01, 2016 - 09:49

    I agree wholeheartedly with Pamela. It's long past due to end this barbaric slaughter. The market for seal pelts has all but evaporated and it makes no sense to continue propping up this cruel industry.

    • Reg
      March 01, 2016 - 10:49

      There is more to the seal hunt than just the pelts. It has been a way of life and means of supporting families with food, clothing etc. The slaughter of cows , pigs, chickens and the list goes on is not any prettier. They just don't look as cute. Pamela would do the world a whole lot more good if she stood to make life easier for the poor and hungry and abused.

    • Paul
      March 01, 2016 - 11:40

      the industry is not being propped up, it stands on its markets. if they can not find a market, they do not kill seals. last few years saw small harvests due to low markets the funny-sad thing is that eventually the harp seal population will balloon and be culled , exactly the same as they do in EU countries, by shooting them and letting them fall to the bottom ... and I might add, shooting them the same as in the hunt...only letting them rot.