Seal processor Carino took its pelts to the streets of St. John’s Saturday in close proximity to a concert venue hosting a well-known opponent of the seal hunt.
Canadian singer-songwriter Bryan Adams performed the second of two concerts at Mile One Centre Saturday night. According to Carino CEO Dion Dakins, the act of parking a van filled with seal pelts close to the concert venue was inspired by Pamela Anderson and “The Simpsons” co-creator Sam Simon’s visit to St. John’s with members of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).
Last December, Simon's charitable foundation offered Canadian sealers $1 million to help facilitate a buyout to end the seal hunt.
“Bryan Adams is certainly a staunch advocate for PETA, and we also know he’s a vegan, and that’s his choice. We have absolutely no problem with that, nor any problem with Bryan Adams,” said Dakins, whose company is based in South Dildo. “Really, the issue is with PETA.”
In a recent interview with The Telegram, Adams said his visit to Newfoundland is about his music and the fans.
“However, for the record, I’m a veggie and against the deliberate killing of ALL animals, not just seals, so for those people that want to protest about my coming to play a gig, make sure to get all the chicken farmers, cow farmers and fishermen to march in unity at my presence,” he wrote in a Q & A feature with The Telegram.
On Saturday, Carino sold first-grade seal pelts at a price of $120, with a bottle of seal oil capsules included in the deal.
Dakins contends groups like PETA — an organization promoting the ethical treatment of animals — spread misinformation about the hunt to rally people against it. He said they fail to acknowledge that standards implemented for the seal hunt are certified by veterinarians, nor do they recognize the overabundance of harp seals in Canada.
“It’s complicated with the campaigns by the International Fund for Animal Welfare, the Humane Society and PETA eroding markets with false information about the industry,” he said when asked about the state of the pelt market. “But all the same, there’s a demand, and we’ll continue as long as that market demand is there and satisfy the customers that want it.”
Population must be managed
No matter how the market for seal products performs in the years ahead, Dakins said there will remain a need to manage the population.
“Whether we like it or not, there’s an absolute requirement that (seals) are hunted. The pressure from the seafood industry will ensure that. The question is, do we want to be killing these animals at a high, humane standard and selling them on markets, or do we want it to become a cull at a taxpayer cost and with no regard for how the animal is actually harvested?”