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Newfoundland Government Is Pissed at PETA Germany

Written by PETA | March 25, 2008

The Honorable Tom Rideout
Credit: CBC/CC

Bad PETA Germany! What were you guys thinking? Did you even take a second to think that you might be hurting the feelings of the Newfoundland Fisheries Minister when you released a video depicting the horrors of the seal slaughter that he presides over? No, of course you didn’t. And look what happened. Because of your heartless disregard for the complicated emotional needs of Canadian Fisheries Ministers (and this isn’t the first time you’ve upset defenseless bureaucrats, is it, PETA Germany?), you’ve gone and hurt The Honorable Tom Rideout’s feelings. What do you have to say for yourselves?

Here’s how it’s all going down, according to Newfoundland’s Western Star newspaper:

“The provincial government is alarmed by a new anti-sealing video which is being distributed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) 2, in Germany. The Honourable Tom Rideout, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, expressed his disappointment and concern that this group would draw such a vile comparison to the Canadian sealing industry, which includes one of the most well-managed harvests anywhere in the world. The video compares the harvesting of seals to the violent physical abuse of a human.”

And Minister Rideout has been eloquent on the subject of his “disappointment” in a press release that he’s been sending around:

“We are now witnessing a new low on the part of anti-sealing organizations. We in Newfoundland and Labrador have become accustomed to the misinformation and inaccurate depictions of the seal harvest that are presented around this time every year. However, this particular attack is the most vile that I have ever seen myself in my almost 30 years in public life. It is completely indecent for this group of people, who have likely never even visited our province, to present such a disturbing depiction of sealers. It is ironic that this group, which is making such an unethical attack, has the word ethical in its name. Their ethics are certainly nowhere to be seen in this approach to addressing their concerns with the Canadian sealing industry. It is also ironic that this attack is coming from Germany where there is a harvest of wild animals including the hunt of 1.2 million deer and over 500,000 wild boars per year.”

Now, there are those who would say that drawing attention to the vicious bludgeoning and skinning of live seals is worth disappointing the occasional Fisheries Minister, but to those people I ask this question: What about the emotional bludgeoning that Mr. Rideout might have experienced as a result of having to watch video footage depicting the horrific acts that his government is condoning? It almost seems as if my counterparts in PETA Germany (who, as the Minister so astutely points out, live in a country that still allows deer hunting and should therefore not be allowed even to talk about cruel hunting practices that occur elsewhere in the world) don’t care at all about whether their video about the internationally reviled Canadian seal hunt offends some functionary in the Newfoundland Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture. Unbelievable.

This is the video in question:

And this is the footage it’s referencing. Tom Rideout calls it a “harvest.” I call it an atrocity. You say tomato …

If you speak a bit of German, you can learn more here.

Commenting is closed.
  • Scott says:

    Over the past couple of years there have been many heavy laws put on the Seal Hunt. This includes no hunting baby seals aka White Coats. The seals that are hunted must have their darker coat. The use of ‘clubs’ are hardly used the main method for killing seals is shooting them. The photos and videos depicted in the PETA videos show cruelty… and it is hard to believe that people still treat animals this way during the hunt but here’s the thing.. what is shown is just a small percent of the hunt. Reports are that 98 percent of hunters do kill them properly by shooting and then checking for a blink reflex. The Canadian Veterinarian Journal also reports that the seals are being killing humanely. Please try to remember that yes some atrocities still go on during the hunt but it is only a small percentage of hunters… just as I’m sure there is also cruelty to animals in game hunters. PETA is one sided and so is the government saying what they can to support their individual biases. PETA will show the select hunters who don’t follow the law and the government will say everything is aok. Remember to get all the facts from different resources before either supporting or denying the seal hunt. I’m a Newfoundlander proud of it and I fully support the hunt as long as it is heavily regulated and proper laws are enforced to those who chose not to treat the seals humanely.

  • Christhelad says:

    Ana pointed out that seal ‘hunting’ is bad for the spirit. BINGO! Well said Ana. Canadian politicians Seal hunt depression anxiety. Get the picture?

  • Antigone1000 says:

    Matthew Root Well I’m not aware of any current Nazi activity in Germany are you? certainly nothing on the scale of the seal hunt in Canada which is definitely going on in the present day. People have a right to their ideas Nazi beliefs if they choose but not necessarily to their actions hurtingkilling another. I also don’t think PETA Germany represents ALL Canadians just those Canadians with a conscience.

  • wayne says:

    germany giving lessons in morality. LOL. newfoundlanders had to cross the atlantic to fight two wars to stop their kind from the atrocities they committed.

  • Margarita says:

    Well said Coleen and let’s hope that people like her change their erratic way of thinking for the benefit of the seals.

  • lynda downie says:

    Very well put Coleen Tew

  • Matthew Root says:

    While i do not condone the Canadian seal hunt i think that the German Branch of PETA has overstepped its bounds when it comes to representing the Canadian people. You don’t see Canadian add campaigns depicting Germans as Nazis it would be deemed socially unacceptable even though it is likely that the participants of the Canadian seal hunts are far outnumbered by Germans who still harbour white supremest ideology. Good job Germany.

  • Coleen Tew says:

    Rebecca how can you be so naive? Have you not seen the videos or read the diaries of people who have been documenting this slaughter? I understand that because you have been raised in the culture of killing seals that you think it might be okay it is not okay. There are plenty of alternate ways of earning a living. Please do the research into the zoology of marine mammals before you defend a practice that should have been abolished many years ago. Yes they do still use clubs some quite gleefully to hear them tell it. One fellow wrote to Captain Paul Watson and told him how much he enjoyed killing them feeling their skulls smash often hitting them two or three times. And another lovely fellow wrote an expletive in the snow with the blood of a little baby he had clubbed the baby still writhing behind him in the snow. There is footage of seals on hooks still moving being skinned while still alive. How can you defend this? By the wayI certainly was not not were my parents born with a silver spoon quite the opposite in fact. Not a good argument for killing innocent young seals. I think it only fair to tell you we will not stop campaigning against this heinous ritual until it is stopped for good and forever. So stow your petulant little diatribe and do some reading and thinking and try to learn about compassion.

  • Rebecca Penney says:

    I am from Newfoundland and i am proud of it! No one in Newfoundland should hang their head in shame. You call killing seals cruel because they are cute you dont know the statistics behind it. There are estimated 5.5 Miliion seals that come off the pack ice each year and we only kill about 10 of them. And by the way its a law since 1987 that you cannot kill whitebacksbaby seals. So you can watch the videos look at the pictures. But just remember the seal hunt was a way of life in Newfoundland. While your grandparents were probabley handed a silver spoon when they were born or even had to work our grandparents died trying to earn some income to feed their family. All our lives we’ve had to live with someone looking their noses down at us wheither it be Celebrities or anyone else for that matter. We are tired of it!! Did you also know that they dont use clubs anymore tne videos u seen must have been way back in the day when guns were hard to come by. And we dont kill them for the sport. Also Newfoundland is not just the only place to have a seal hunt so why dont you just go and pick on Namibia or Greenland Norway and Russia and leave us alone!!

  • Coleen Tew says:

    I would like to address Denise. I am 55 years old and have lived in Canada for all of my life. I have opposed the Seal hunt since the age of 17when I saw a similar film documenting the killing of baby seals and their mothers if they got in the way. The mothers cry out in agony as they watch their babies butchered. I know many will say that animals don’t have the capacity for feeling that has been refuted by scientists there is an excellent article in National Geographic last month about animal intelligence. I have done the homework and it is NOT a viable or justifiable harvest hate that word.People involved in this despicable hunt do so becaue it’s ingrained in their culture economics has nothing to do with it. These people are hard and stubborn and they don’t see anything wrong in what they are doing. Unless someone in government bans it they will continue. So getting people to not buy sealskin or seal meat is the key. If seal fur were rendered worthless then what would be the point of hunting? As a personal aside I cannot imagine clubbing one of these beautiful creatureshell I can’t even watch the videos. It makes me wonder what type of person can do such a thing?

  • Dz says:

    It is kinda sad that most of the population of the world is miss inform about regulation of this hunt. For the few of you that will actually read this message im hoping for perhaps 1 of the animal activist out there. Those white baby seal although cute are not hunted anymore it is illegal since 1987. So the images with the white coat stain in blood are actually out dated by 21 years. Now concerning that video. That video is far from the true of the hunt. They don’t block the seals path to jump on only one and beat it to a bloody pulp. That in any case would ruin the pelt and the meat that are the prime reason those animal are been hunt. So just by that the wild blood splash on the car windshield although shocking are a deformation of the truth. It as been researched as the best way of removing the pain from the seal is to actually break that portion of the skull witch is holding the nerv system. the 2 best solution found for that are either a gun.regular head shot or the hakapik. The sharp spike of the hakapik make it easy to break the skull and kill the animal without any suffering. From that point when the skull is broken the animal is clinically dead. It dosen t feel anything no pain at all. I was on the P.E.T.A site today and I was actually surprise that such a multimillionaire company could have so many wrong information. The seal condition is also interesting. In 2005 the population was 582 millions. This year the hunter can hunt 275 000 seal. Such control on the total population of seal make it impossible for the destruction of the whole species. Also the spasm you might see on different video are actually normal. After the death of the animal some spasms might happen. Same thing happen with human are th corpse feeling anything. No they are not. So considering that seal don’t feel anything when kill. There is to much of them without natural predator they are also eating all the fish. Im not even sure why so many ppl out there care about this. cmon ppl if you can whine on a forum go get yourself inform. for any person out there that would be wondering was would inform them they could watch Phoque le film. Note im not sure what the english version of that documentary is call. For any Question Comment or anything else. you can contact me at and i will try t oanswer your questions. Phil p.s Please refrain yourself from idiot insult email that just prove that you might be missing something important between your brain. p.p.s Note that all or almost all Peta promotional videos are extremely emotif and are calling for irrational response from the viewer.

  • belita says:

    thank’s to petaa lot of people can realise how could be for a human feel the horror the pain of this disgusting slaughter the canadian goverment think they have a human way to kill this beautiful seals is because for them killing an animal is part of their education i guess they have no idea of how to make a living in a decent way. sealers and the goverment are monsters people with no heart or feelings and of course no love for GOD’S creations.

  • Hannah says:

    i truly have nothing against the Canadian People and nothing against the Country. Really it’s all the governments fault. they don’t care what happens to the hundreds of thousands of baby seals they rake in the profits too. if they’re having a good year they extend it. i understand that the “sealers” are just trying to make money. but yet again how can they look at the seal and just kill it? how can they stand to see the light fade out of their eyes? it’s just WRONG! thank you PETA Germany for posting that video. it really should have opened their eyes to how wrong this is but all it did was open their eyes to how much attention they’re getting world wide. but we truly have made them realize we know what they’re doing. and thank you canaidian PETA members for staying strong.

  • Risha says:

    Warning blunt insults Wow is Rideout ever screwed in the head for being disappointed at people for attempting to do the right thing. Hmm guess he never learned manners as he grew up. His feelings are insignificant to the pain the seals will be suffering if nothing is done to prevent it. He must be truly arrogant uncaring atrocious and inhumane as he presents himself to most of the world. Even people who do not care much about animals find this hunt digusting. Be ashamed Rideout! How on earth are you called honourable when you allow this event to occur? The seals are not even killed quickly. Anyways it’s just wrong to take their lives away when he himself values his own life. I’m sorry if it’s insulting but because nothing have changed you deserve this. Words won’t kill you as you will kill them! So don’t whine and complain to people who are trying to do bring justice to these creatures who cannot defend themselves! All it does is make people shake their head and laugh at you.

  • Mary Mitchell says:

    As has been mentioned the economic argument is used by Newfoundlanders to defend this barbaric practice. The same argument was used in the past against abolishing the African slave trade. What would all the slave traders then do for a living? Fortunately the rest of the civilised world is catching up and will ultimately refuse to finance this disgusting trade.

  • lynda downie says:

    Denise that’d be “Heil Hitler!”