I write concerning “Taiwan, seal product bans and the truth,” a Jan. 28 letter to the editor from Robert Miller.
From seal populations to the findings of veterinary studies, Miller spouts misinformation in nearly every line of his piece.
Miller misrepresents reports from the 1980s that, contrary to his assertion, clearly identify unacceptable animal suffering at the commercial seal hunt.
Multiple recent studies have concluded that commercial sealing is inherently inhumane because of the environment in which sealing occurs and the speed at which it happens.
Every year, observers film conscious, wounded seal pups left to suffer in agony, gaffed onto vessels and cut open, and escaping into the water.
Miller then suggests the harp seal population is one million animals higher than the latest government estimate indicates, and fails to clarify that the harp seal population is in a recovery from a dangerous low a half century ago.
He also neglects to mention that climate change is causing a massive reduction in sea ice cover in the North Atlantic and harp seals face a grave threat to their long-term survival.
More than 30 nations have restricted their trade in seal products in response to animal welfare and conservation concerns.
Unlike Miller, these governments have studied commercial sealing thoroughly, and have heard extensive testimony from sealing industry lobbyists and the Canadian government.
Their decisions have been informed and we will likely see many more nations follow suit.
The sealing industry has been, by its own terms, economically nonviable for the past four years.
Between the closing global markets and climate change, there is simply no future in commercial sealing. Polling shows broad support for a sealing industry buyout within the sealing community and throughout Newfoundland.
If Miller actually cared about sealers, he would work with those promoting this constructive solution instead of disseminating emotional rhetoric that serves no one.
Humane Society International/Canada.