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U.S. Senate Resolutions 33 and 269

Title: A resolution urging the Government of Canada to end the commercial seal hunt.

Sponsor: Sen Levin, Carl [MI] (introduced 2/1/2005)
Cosponsors (23)

Latest Major Action: 2/1/2005 Referred to Senate committee.

Status: Referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.

The following Senators have signed on as cosponsors:

Sen Akaka, Daniel K. [HI] - 6/22/2005
Sen Allen, George [VA] - 5/10/2005
Sen Biden, Joseph R., Jr. [DE] - 3/2/2005
Sen Boxer, Barbara [CA] - 3/14/2005
Sen Cantwell, Maria [WA] - 2/1/2005
Sen Collins, Susan M. [ME] - 2/1/2005
Sen Dodd, Christopher J. [CT] - 2/1/2005
Sen Dorgan, Byron L. [ND] - 2/1/2005
Sen Durbin, Richard [IL] - 2/1/2005
Sen Feingold, Russell D. [WI] - 2/1/2005
Sen Feinstein, Dianne [CA] - 2/1/2005
Sen Jeffords, James M. [VT] - 2/1/2005
Sen Johnson, Tim [SD] - 2/1/2005
Sen Kennedy, Edward M. [MA] - 3/1/2005
Sen Kerry, John F. [MA] - 5/10/2005
Sen Lautenberg, Frank R. [NJ] - 2/1/2005
Sen Lugar, Richard G. [IN] - 2/1/2005
Sen Murray, Patty [WA] - 2/1/2005
Sen Reed, Jack [RI] - 2/1/2005
Sen Sarbanes, Paul S. [MD] - 3/2/2005
Sen Schumer, Charles E. [NY] - 2/1/2005
Sen Stabenow, Debbie [MI] - 3/1/2005
Sen Wyden, Ron [OR] - 2/1/2005
seals_FOA_resolution

More support is needed. If your senator has not cosponsored the resolution yet, urge him or her to sign-on today. You can find the contact information your senators at www.senate.gov.

You can also send Senator Levin an online e-mail at http://levin.senate.gov/contact/index.cfm thanking him for taking the lead and speaking out on behalf of the baby harp and hood seals off the east coast of Canada.

If you are represented by any of the other cosponsors of the resolution please contact them to express your thanks for their help to protect seals and urge them to keep pressing the resolution forward. You can find the contact information your senators at www.senate.gov.

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF ACTION AGAINST SLAUGHTER OF SEALS

(Senate - March 15, 2005)

Mr. LEVIN. Mr. President, today there will be rallies in 50 cities across the world calling on the Canadian Government to stop the cruel and needless slaughter of seals. Animal protection and environmental groups in the U.S. and throughout the world have condemned Canada's increased seal hunt, which will allow sealers to kill over 300,000 baby seals this year alone. The hunt officially opened on Nov. 15, 2004, but the bulk of the killing will begin toward the end of March, after the babies have been born. They will be clubbed and shot mainly for their fur.

A recent study was conducted by an independent team of veterinarians which found that the seal hunt failed to comply with basic animal welfare standards and that Canadian regulations with regard to humane killing were not being enforced. The study concluded that up to 42 percent of the seals studied were likely skinned while alive and conscious. The United States has long banned imports of seal products because of widespread outrage over the magnitude and cruelty of the hunt.

Our neighbor to the north is fortunate to have vast and diverse wildlife populations--animals that deserve protection, not senseless slaughter. Americans have a long history of defending marine mammals, best evidenced through our Marine Mammal Protection Act. Not surprisingly, recent polling shows close to 80 percent of American voters oppose Canada's seal hunt, and the majority of those surveyed are willing to make consumer choices that will help put a stop to the slaughter.

On February 1, 2005, Senator Collins and I introduced a resolution, S. Res. 33, which urges the Government of Canada to end this senseless, inhumane slaughter. We are pleased that 18 of our colleagues in the Senate have cosponsored this resolution: Senators LUGAR, BIDEN, CANTWELL, JEFFORDS, DODD, DURBIN, FEINSTEIN, JOHNSON, LAUTENBERG, MURRAY, STABENOW, DORGAN, KENNEDY, REED, SCHUMER, WYDEN, FEINGOLD and BOXER.


US RESOLUTION 33

Whereas on November 15, 2004, the Government of Canada opened a commercial hunt for seals in the waters off the east coast of Canada; (Introduced in Senate)

SRES 33 IS
109th CONGRESS
1st Session

S. RES. 33

Urging the Government of Canada to end the commercial seal hunt.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

February 1, 2005

Mr. LEVIN (for himself, Ms. COLLINS, Mr. LUGAR, Mr. REED, Mr. LAUTENBERG, Mrs. FEINSTEIN, Mr. JOHNSON, Mr. JEFFORDS, Mr. WYDEN, Ms. CANTWELL, Mr. DODD, Mr. FEINGOLD, Mr. DURBIN, Mr. SCHUMER, Mrs. MURRAY, and Mr. DORGAN) submitted the following resolution ; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations


RESOLUTION

Urging the Government of Canada to end the commercial seal hunt.

Whereas on November 15, 2004, the Government of Canada opened a commercial hunt for seals in the waters off the east coast of Canada;

Whereas an international outcry regarding the plight of the seals hunted in Canada resulted in the 1983 ban by the European Union of whitecoat and blueback seal skins and the subsequent collapse of the commercial seal hunt in Canada;

Whereas the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) bars the import into the United States of any seal products;

Whereas in February 2003, the Ministry of Fisheries and Oceans in Canada authorized the highest quota for harp seals in Canadian history, allowing nearly 1,000,000 seals to be killed over a 3-year period;

Whereas harp seal pups can be legally hunted in Canada as soon as they have begun to molt their white coats at approximately 12 days of age;

Whereas 95 percent of the seals culled over the past 5 years were pups between just 12 days and 12 weeks of age, many of which had not yet eaten their first solid meal or learned to swim;

Whereas a report by an independent team of veterinarians invited to observe the hunt by the International Fund for Animal Welfare concluded that the seal hunt failed to comply with basic animal welfare regulations in Canada and that governmental regulations regarding humane killing were not being respected or enforced;

Whereas the veterinary report concluded that as many as 42 percent of the seals studied were likely skinned while alive and conscious;

Whereas the commercial slaughter of seals in the Northwest Atlantic is inherently cruel, whether the killing is conducted by clubbing or by shooting;

Whereas many seals are shot in the course of the hunt, but escape beneath the ice where they die slowly and are never recovered, and these seals are not counted in official kill statistics, making the actual kill level far higher than the level that is reported;

Whereas the commercial hunt for harp and hooded seals is a commercial slaughter carried out almost entirely by non-Native people from the East Coast of Canada for seal fur, oil, and penises (used as aphrodisiacs in some Asian markets);

Whereas the fishing and sealing industries in Canada continue to justify the expanded seal hunt on the grounds that the seals in the Northwest Atlantic are preventing the recovery of cod stocks, despite the lack of any credible scientific evidence to support this claim;

Whereas 2 Canadian Government marine scientists reported in 1994 that the true cause of cod depletion in the North Atlantic was over-fishing, and the consensus among the international scientific community is that seals are not responsible for the collapse of cod stocks;

Whereas harp and hooded seals are a vital part of the complex ecosystem of the Northwest Atlantic, and because the seals consume predators of commercial cod stocks, removing the seals might actually inhibit recovery of cod stocks;

Whereas certain ministries of the Government of Canada have stated clearly that there is no evidence that killing seals will help groundfish stocks to recover; and

Whereas the persistence of this cruel and needless commercial hunt is inconsistent with the well-earned international reputation of Canada: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate urges the Government of Canada to end the commercial hunt on seals that opened in the waters off the east coast of Canada on November 15, 2004.

US RESOLUTION 269

Whereas on November 15, 2003, the Government of Canada opened a commercial hunt on seals in the waters off the east coast of Canada; (Introduced in Senate)

SRES 269 IS
108th CONGRESS
1st Session

S. RES. 269

Urging the Government of Canada to end the commercial seal hunt that opened on November 15, 2003.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

November 20, 2003

Mr. LEVIN (for himself and Ms. COLLINS, Mr. LIEBERMAN, Mr. REED, Mr. LAUTENBERG, Mr. DODD, Mr. WYDEN, Mr. JEFFORDS, and Mr. KENNEDY) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations


RESOLUTION

Urging the Government of Canada to end the commercial seal hunt that opened on November 15, 2003.

Whereas on November 15, 2003, the Government of Canada opened a commercial hunt on seals in the waters off the east coast of Canada;

Whereas an international outcry regarding the plight of the seals hunted in Canada resulted in the 1983 ban by the European Union of whitecoat and blueback seal skins, and the subsequent collapse of the commercial seal hunt in Canada;

Whereas the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) bars the import into the United States of any seal products;

Whereas in February 2003, the Ministry of Fisheries and Oceans in Canada authorized the highest quota for Harp seals in Canadian history, allowing nearly 1,000,000 seals to be killed over a 3-year period;

Whereas Harp seal pups can be legally hunted in Canada as soon as they have begun to molt their white coats at approximately 12 days of age;

Whereas 97 percent of the seals culled in the 2003 slaughter were pups between just 12 days and 12 weeks of age, most of which had not yet eaten their first solid meal or learned to swim;

Whereas a 2001 report by an independent team of veterinarians invited to observe the hunt by the International Fund for Animal Welfare concluded that the seal hunt failed to comply with basic animal welfare regulations in Canada and that governmental regulations regarding humane killing were not being respected or enforced;

Whereas the 2001 veterinary report concluded that as many as 42 percent of the seals studied were likely skinned while alive and conscious;

Whereas the commercial slaughter of seals in the Northwest Atlantic is inherently cruel, whether the killing is conducted by clubbing or by shooting;

Whereas many seals are shot in the course of the hunt, but escape beneath the ice where they die slowly and are never recovered, and these seals are not counted in official kill statistics, making the actual kill level far higher than the level that is reported;

Whereas the commercial hunt for harp and hooded seals is not conducted by indigenous peoples of Canada, but is a commercial slaughter carried out by nonnative people from the East Coast of Canada for seal fur, oil, and penises (used as aphrodisiacs in some Asian markets);

Whereas the fishing and sealing industries in Canada continue to justify the expanded seal hunt on the grounds that the seals in the Northwest Atlantic are preventing the recovery of cod stocks, despite the lack of any credible scientific evidence to support this claim;

Whereas 2 Canadian Government marine scientists reported in 1994 that the true cause of cod depletion in the North Atlantic was over-fishing, and the consensus among the international scientific community is that seals are not responsible for the collapse of cod stocks;

Whereas harp and hooded seals are a vital part of the complex ecosystem of the Northwest Atlantic, and because the seals consume predators of commercial cod stocks, removing the seals might actually inhibit recovery of cod stocks;

Whereas certain ministries of the Government of Canada have stated clearly that there is no evidence that killing seals will help groundfish stocks to recover; and

Whereas the persistence of this cruel and needless commercial hunt is inconsistent with the well-earned international reputation of Canada: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate urges the Government of Canada to end the commercial hunt on seals that opened in the waters off the east coast of Canada on November 15, 2003.