|Wednesday, April 05, 2006|
Costco Cannot Be Trusted - Sea Shepherd Calls for an International Boycott
On March 1st, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society received the following e-mail from Richard Duffy, the Assistant Vice-President of Costco's Canadian and Eastern U.S. Division:
It does not get clearer than that. The decision was based at the "highest level" and states as fact that seal oil capsules will not be sold in the future at Costco stores in Newfoundland and Canada.
A month later, Costco has reneged on this promise and has mistakenly decided that the interests of one store in Newfoundland are more important than all of Costco's outlets internationally. They announced on the morning of April 5, 2006, that they will resume selling seal oil capsules made from baby harp seals.
Costco is Now in the Baby Seal Killing Business
When word that Costco had removed the seal oil capsules hit the media in Newfoundland, the negative local controversy solicited the cowardly and false reply that Costco had removed the product because it was not making money and that they had no communications with Sea Shepherd.
Yet, Sea Shepherd has e-mail and phone mail records of negotiations on this issue going back more than a year.
"Costco simply lied," said Sea Shepherd Canada spokesperson Steve Thompson. "I handled these negotiations personally and the decision to remove the seal oil capsules was a direct result of our talks."
However, under pressure from the Premier of Newfoundland and the Canadian Minister of Fisheries, Loyola Hearn, Costco has waffled yet again and informed the media that they will restock a product obtained through inflicting incredible cruelties to baby harp seals, a so-called "health" product that contains heavy metals and PCB's and a product that presents a threat to the marine ecology of the Northwest Atlantic.
Costco has decided that to save face in one store in Newfoundland, they are willing to call Sea Shepherd's bluff over an international boycott of all Costco outlets worldwide.
It is not a bluff. Sea Shepherd is now officially calling for an international boycott of all international Costco retail outlets.
This boycott was officially announced on the CBC today by Stephen Thompson. This boycott begins with the Society itself. "Last year, we stocked our ships with thousands of dollars of provisions purchased from Costco at locations in Jacksonville, Florida; Halifax, Nova Scotia; Seattle (2 locations) and Mount Vernon, Washington. The value of the seal oil capsules sold by Costco does not equal the amount we spend for supplies alone."
A boycott will include rotating pickets at Costco locations, leafleting to customers, internet communication, celebrity endorsements of the boycott, and advertising.
Boycotts involving marine animals have been quite successful over the last year. Disneyland agreed to stop serving shark fin soup after Sea Shepherd threatened to call a boycott in 2005. This last week, Nissui corporation divested their shares in the Japanese whaling fleet after Earth Island Institute launched a boycott of their New Zealand subsidiary Sea Lord and their U.S. subsidiary Gorton's Seafood. Red Lobster has also felt the sting of the international Boycott of Canadian Seafood products, a boycott called by Sea Shepherd, HSUS, and other non-profits, and supported by Trader Joe's, Wild Oats, Whole Food Markets, Legal Seafood, Miami Crab, and hundreds of restaurants across the United States.
Costco has decided that they would rather support men who viciously club helpless baby seals over people of compassionate who are opposing this horrific slaughter of over 325,000 seal pups annually.
As long as Costco supports the killing of baby seals, we will not support Costco. We urge animal lovers and conservationists worldwide to send a message to Costco: "We will not shop at Costco outlets while you have baby seal oil capsules on your shelves in your store in Newfoundland."
If you would like to let Costco know how you feel about the fact that they sell a product derived from dead baby seals: