While going through my emails since returning, I came across this story pertaining to the seal hunt on the East coast.
The gist is that the animal rights groups are campaigning in Europe against the seal hunt and are using the emotional argument that the sealers are clubbing the seals to death with the hakapik which they say is brutal and cruel. Of course the activists don’t give a damn if the sealers are using clubs, guns or lethal injection. What they want is the seal hunt completely shut down.
But this seems fact seems to escape the thought process of the the Premiers of Newfoundland and Labrador and Nunavut. They seem to think that if they ban the use of the hakapik the whole protest will go away, or at least the European community will ignore the campaign run by the animal rights activists and continue to buy the Canadian product.
***** the premiers issued a statement against the use of the hakapik.
“There are some images that stick with the general public, and the hakapik is one image that is used continually, and is used to lobby against our hunt, throughout Canada,” Nunavut Premier Paul Okalik was reported as saying. “Even though we don’t use the hakapik, we are impacted by it.”
In Nunavut, rifles and harpoons are used. Most hunters use guns during the hunt, while only 5% relied on the hakapik in Newfoundland’s leg of the hunt. “I am advised that within each country the use of the hakapik was a dominant issue and continues to be viewed in an extremely negative manner,” Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams said in a statement.
Obviously they think that the animal rights groups will be happy with harpoons.
Noting a European Union vote on a possible ban is scheduled for June, Mr. Williams said he and Mr. Okalik were “prepared to move quickly and decisively,” on the issue.
The leaders said they had written a letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper addressing the matter. “The Canadian delegation was told repeatedly that a ban of this tool may prove to dispel some of the negative opinions regarding the Canadian seal harvest.
“Clearly, this is a core issue in Europe and is used as part of the anti-sealing rhetoric that is being put forward to their policy and decision-makers,” Mr. Williams said. Banning the hakapik “is an opportunity to disarm them of something that is used negatively against our sealers,” he added.
Considering that the hunt opponents are still talking about the killing of baby whitecoat seals and using their pictures in their propaganda it seems unlikely that they will stop talking about the hakapik just because the government bans something they say they aren’t using anyway.
But you might suspect that the Premiers really do have enough intelligence to know that giving the animal rights groups the hakapik will not blunt their attacks or the impact that they are making on the European community. If that is the case then the whole exercise becomes a cynical political process to try and convince their local constituency that they are in fact supporting their sealers and trying diligently to solve their problem.
So we either have some politicians who are dumb enough to think that they can appease the animal rights activists by having the Federal government pass a law banning the hakopik, or cynical enough to know that a ban would be ineffectual, but by asking for it they at least appear to their voting constituency as though they have a plan. Either way not a scenario that instills confidence in your government’s leadership.
Very similar to Ontario Premier David Miller’s campaign to ban handguns across Canada to show that he has a plan to stop gang violence in Toronto.