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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.
  • denise tryon says:

    hey gotta love it. I see you only post the comments regarding the anti seal hunt and the non factual details of the hunt. you don’t post the ones that state facts. Doesn’t surprise me you have a bunch of uneducated members who say what is dictated to them and you certainly don’t want the truth to be made known. More profitable to keep the uneducated and ignorant in line. Hail Hitler there people.

  • summer says:

    that is amazing that all he can think of is himself! the jerk. i dont freakin care if his feelings are hurt they hurt those seals way more than he ever will be.

  • KalgaryKaren says:

    Antigone my sincerest apologies! I read the name above rather than the name below. It was actually someone named M. Legault who I was referring to. Again so sorry! M. Legault give your bloody head a shake!

  • Antigone1000 says:

    KalgaryKaren I don’t know who you think you’re responding to but it sure isn’t me. Go back and check my posting.

  • Silvia Fejka says:

    Props to PETA Germany!

  • sally padbury says:

    I live in the UK and will NEVER visit Canada untill this disgusting brainless murdering stops.

  • Gabriela mercado says:

    i live in newfoundland st johns and i think this government should consider that the only thing that mistake that has this country is the freakin seal hunt…canada could be the perfect one if it wasnt for their blooty cave time attitudes for seal hunt.

  • Jessica Washchuk says:

    I am a Canadian citizen and as such I am embrassed. Embarassed that my government would still allow such attrocities to continue after so many years of technology and evolving animal rights. I have never been to Newfoundland but I have been to PEI and it is a beautiful part of Canada and it is unfortunate that is is covered annually in bloodshed. Like everything else if the Newfoundland government claims that the killing of seals is a necessity to control agriculture and fish populations there are MUCH more humane ways of doing so besides clubbing them to death. I know there is alot of biased and unbiased literature out there on this issue and each person can choose their own position on the issue but I strongly believe it is disgusting and will never go to Newfoundland. I am appauled by what Candy wrote about the sale of tshirts glorifying the seal hunt as touist memorabilia! That makes me want to vomit! Even though this is a very hot topic I feel people who are posting ill wishes towards Mr. Rideout are out of line. Effective advocacy is done through intelligence not name calling or threatening.

  • lynda downie says:

    Exactly Ana and Paul Watson is also from the Canadian Maritimes so the sealers and Nfld gov’t officials can’t use the old argument that he just doesn’t understand the Nfld way of life.

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    Two good articles of interest written very passionately by the alwayseloquent Captain Paul Watson “Captain Paul Watson Responds to Canadian Fisheries Minister Loyola Hearn…” httpwww.seashepherd.orgeditorialseditorial0803191.html “Canada Orders Sea Shepherd to Stay Away from the Baby Seal Slaughter…” httpwww.seashepherd.orgnewsmedia0803231.html

  • Amanda says:

    Great video! I know why it bothers that buttheaded minister it forces him to see how barbaric the seal hunt really is. It’s only too easly for people to detach themselves from the experience of animals in our human infected world. I always say “If it would bother you to see that happening to a human then it shouldn’t be happening to an animal.” The decisions made around the seal hunt make it very embaressing to be Canadian. It’s interesting we Canadians are supposed to be known for being very kind friendly. I would have to say that’s true however just don’t go to the East of the Country. Evidently they are just a bunch of barbarians.

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    M. Legault It’s a myth that people depend on the seal hunt for their livelihoods. The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador reported that only 4 of all sealing communities earned more than 15 of their employment income from sealing. The vast majority of sealing communities about 75 reported less than 5 of their employment income from sealing. Also the rescue last spring by the Canadian Coast Guard of the icebound sealers in their nonice class woodenhull longliners set back the Canadian taxpayers at least $3.4 million. I resent my tax dollars going towards something I find morally reprehensible.

  • Margarita says:

    To think that this has been going on for so long and no matter how many protests there have been this goes on. 20 years ago I first started with this Peta campaigning against the slaughter of seals and it is still going on.

  • D'Laine Borden says:

    I am a not so proud Canadian to think that one of our Canadian leaders is still allowing this horrible act it so hurtful I cry at the thought of this. I live in the beutiful west coast and have heard what the Newfoundlanders are allowing. and to call it a “harvest” I thought you harvested veggies from farms not animals. I don’t care what he says its not natural to harvest poor baby animals. Has he ever looked at a baby seal and its mom how anyone can look at a baby seal and not cry or feel touched in some way is heartless.

  • D says:

    If that is a harvest I am the Queen of Sheba. We put criminals in jail for doing that to human beings but its ok to do that to a baby seal. What if that was a real baby a human baby being slaughtered like that for their skin would it be called a harvest then?? Its a bunch of pr spin to try and make themselves not look like the monsters they are. Jack the ripper thought he was doing good for society by killing prostitutes. What crimes have these baby seals committed??? They do not even kill these seals in a human fashion they blegen them to death. Its fact. There have been many studies research etc on this practice.. not just by activist groups either. They are choosing to try to pick on PETA for its unconventional and shocking approaches and yet I don’t see PETA violently murdering anyone. They are just trying to be manly burly men who have issues and they take it out on cute defenseless animals. They should be the ones ashamed of themselves!! I like the Press release the government is alarmed expressed disappointment concern witnessing a new low unethical attack….. hmmm isn’t that the ole saying”the pot calling the kettle”???? Well I for one am half Canadian and I am alarmed concerned and disappointed by the Candian Government hitting the low of unethicaly harming and attacking a defenseless animal for profit. This was a new low to send out a press release stating that what they are doing is ok as if it makes it so. They need better pr professionals if they think that is going to make them looking squeeky clean. Hmm…fact versus pr spin? Which one would you choose??

  • Gloria Feldscher says:

    I agree that Germany’s slaughter of deer and boars is wrong. However this slaughter of seals is not justified by Germany’s hunting. Remember one cruelty does not justify another.

  • KalgaryKaren says:

    Antigone Get a grip and use your head. Just because some practice offers job opportunities to someone doesn’t make it an ethical exercise. I don’t care if some may be unemployed in Nfld. We have welfare here and I’d rather see people on welfare than slaughtering babies. What the heck are you thinking? Gee slavery used to provide people with jobs too but that doesn’t make slavery right. Don’t be a dohhead.

  • Stephanie says:

    Thank you PETA Germany. Stephanie Canada.

  • Ana says:

    Michele Just slightly upset…NOT! I can believe anything when its about the majority of idiot government officials. The American and Canadian government support and justify many atrocities done to animals. Just take a look at Bush enough said. Even if they don’t like animals the logic just isn’t there. Anytime people use culture to justify violence against animals it is a sign that the cowardly government officials will slither back into their hovels and allow any type of abomination to continue. Killing babies how deplorable!!

  • Chloe says:

    As a Canadian citizen I am not only horrified by the annual BABY seal hunts but disgusted by the fact that our government not only supports the ‘hunt’ but justifies this every year as if it were a natural phenomenon. Surely by now especially after all the media attention brought to the issue our government would have the common sense to realize the cruelty they are supporting. I applaud all media attention to this as it just adds to the embarrassment of our government. Keep up the good work.

  • Michele says:

    Ana Antigone can you tell I was just a tad miffed at Mr. Rideout’s ridiculous comments? You should check into the comments that the Premier Dany Williams has said about the seal hunt in the past and specifically in response to the time that Sir Paul McCartney and Heather Mills were on the “scene” in 2006 I remember there was CNN coverage with Mr. Williams. He is even MORE ridiculous than Mr. Rideout if you can believe that!

  • Ana says:

    Mike Q You’re right about Paul Watson and company. No ban is going to deter Paul and his crewall courageous people with integrity.

  • lynda downie says:

    The spin up here in Canada is that we AR types cowardly attack these poor poor Nflders who are just barely eking out a living. Offers have been made to these Nfld sealers generous offers of money and alternate employment. They refused saying it was their culture. Uh huh.. Really I don’t know what it’ll take Brian Lockyer above postis a Nfdler he knows these people.

  • M. Legault says:

    People depend on the seal hunt for their livelihoods. It is taking place in northern newfoundland where job opportunities are limited at best. The seal industry is a viable option for these individuals to make a living. There are also traditional socioeconomic factors that have been intertwined with the seal hunt for generations. Just like native canadians are allowed to hunt specific quotas due to traditional socioeconomic factors these individuals should be allowed to do the same.

  • Antigone1000 says:

    Michele Hopefully your post will be taken to heart by some people on these PETA blogs who show more concern for hurt human feelings than for the real suffering experienced by animals…..

  • Kris Shulfer says:


  • Ana says:

    Michele Loved your comments and your love and passion for animals so accurately indicated in your post!!!

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    Aw poor babyhis feelings are hurt. To watch the government try to spin the seal massacre is hilarious. It’s laughable how Loyola Hearn Minister of Fisheries and Oceans tries to tradebully European nations for considering a ban when the United States has banned Canadian seal products since 1972. He’s afraid to pick on Uncle Sam though. The Canadian government has also banned Sea Shepherd Conservation Society vessels from the areas of the hunt in an effort to muzzle any dissent. No doubt Paul Watson and Company will be paying a visit anyway.

  • kelly says:

    Don’t you get the feeling that this old man Tom Rideout is mostly pissed off that younger people have brains and compassion? Time to retire Rideout.

  • Christopher Cochran MD says:

    I believe “harvest” doesn’t mean simply gathering some live thing. To me a harvest implies gathering food. These animals aren’t killed for food so I don’t advocate it. Rather arbitrary I know but most ethical decisions aren’t absolute. Ultimately my ethics tell me that animals should be well treated until such time that they are needed for food and dispatchedmurderedkilled in as humane a way as is reasonable and the carcass should be utilized as much as is reasonable. Rotten wasting seal meat isn’t ethical to me on any level. I believe the people I hunt and fish with as well as my self are all people who are for and who practice ethical treatment of animals. I can definitely see why someone from a different background wouldn’t agree. The difference lies in the definitions of ethical I suppose. Very few things are absolute and when you go around calling people names like barbarian or treehugging hippie you are likely to get caught in your own tar pit.

  • karla says:


  • kenady says:

    i agree 100 with Mary

  • Amanda M. says:

    I’m ashamed of my Newfoundland heritage when I read things such as this. Despite my ancestors’ long history there I will neither visit nor buy any product from that or any other for that matter part of Canada until this senseless brutality and slaughter of truly helpless animals ends.

  • Louise McGannon says:

    Count me in to on doing everything I can to stop this barbaric butchery of baby harp seals. I am trying to encourage everyone I know and to get the word out to get this stopped once and for all. I do NOT care about Mr. Rideout and his feelings! I agree who could condone anyone doing such an act???

  • Jason Levy says:

    That is a great video by the way!

  • Michele says:

    Boo hoo Mr. Rideout sorry no I’m not actually sorry but you being pissed off just does not register. One person’s “disappointment” oh puhlease! does NOT compare to the MILLIONS of seals who have had to SUFFER in the name of fashion that’s a true “fword”. It’s pathetic that his only socalled defense was that Germany allows hunting wait a minute so does Canada! and that PETA Germany’s “attack” is unethical again no comparison. Vile? So is clubbing seals and allowing them to suffer. Indecent? Again allowing INNOCENT animals to suffer… And just to make his pointless comments even worse he throws in a comment about the group of people from PETA Germany “who have likely never even visited our province”. NO ONE has to go to a slaughterhouse see a fox hunt in person or visit China to know what horrors the animals are enduring in these situations. This province depends on tourism BIG TIME so write to the tourism folks and tell them that you will NEVER visit their province until the seal hunt is stopped forever and tell all of your friends to write.

  • lucas solowey says:

    hey peta great blog about the seal hunt! i love peta2 germany’s video! I’ve had to deal with the DFO Dept fisheries and oceansbefore and boy are they slow! They were not too happy about our naked protest last saturday that made international news either! keep up the great work and keep on fighting the seal hunt for the seals. Lucas Montreal Canada

  • Courtney says:

    Any Canadian PETA members who live in southwestern Ontario want to take a weekend road trip to NFLD to protest this shit? Damn our government needs to grab some balls….and the seal hunters need to grab a book and stop becoming illiterate assholes that can do nothing more than club a baby animal to death.

  • chris says:

    I oppose poaching and killing animals for fur as well but do you guys support just eating animals? because EVERY other animal that can eat another animal for food DOES SO. also do you guys support hunting overpopulated deer? because it is better than them starving to death and face it mainstream america will not ever pay big bucks to relocate the deer or inject them with sterilization fluid which is costly and also unnatural and weird.

  • rhonda parsons says:


  • Brian W. Lockyer says:

    He has a problem with these people because they may not have ever been to Newfoundland well I was born and raised in Newfoundland I left 5 years ago when I was 20 and let me tell you I am not only disgusted by the seal hunt but by how much the people of Newfoundland back it… While I was home for a visit this past summer I saw many shops selling tshirts that said “I Club Baby Seals” and “I Heart baby Seals but in fine print it read “Roasted with chips and gravy.” I am now the cofounder of KWAAG Kitchener Waterloo Animal Advocacy Group a new animal rights organization in Southern Ontario where I have lived since moving from Newfoundland. I do believe that we need to go to Newfoundland and talk to these people and come up with a logical plan to replace the jobs that will be lost but the hunt should be stopped immediately! However I know the province I am from and it’s people and PETA can make as many videos as they like which was a good video BTW but until we Animal activists come up with something they can do to make a living and help them realize they DO NOT need to beat animals to death with clubs to do so they will NEVER STOP I can promise you that… You can believe me if you want but I know these people and I know that a million videos and every music star in the world going on TV will not stop this atrocity… Peace Brian.

  • Candy Silva says:

    I am extremely angry that Mr. Rideout would expect any person to watch baby seal slaughter and not have it affend them. Shame on you. I hope someone does the same to you someday.

  • HB says:

    As a Canadian I want to say “THANK YOU PETA GERMANY!”. All of a sudden Newfoundland politicians developed “feelings” and are hurt by the video? We are not buying it! Besides the people on that video are actors as opposed to the very real seals Tom Rideout condemns to a gruesome death every year. Now take it like a man Tom and stop whining.

  • Kelly McPhee says:

    Is he frickin’ serious? Please tell me that as a fellow Canadian I don’t share this country with that poor excuse of a human being. I am deeply ashamed of this country DEEPLY!!! Has he actually watched a seal being slaughtered? If he has and can still justify it than he is completely INHUMAN!!!!!

  • Mary says:

    Ahhh so PETA have upset poor Tom. Well Mr. Rideout do you know what upset me today? Watching all the news coverage telling of the start of this annual atrocity where these precious animals are slaughtered. And the fact that you can defend and applaud a person who can look into the eyes of a seal as they club it to death astounds me. Thank God for PETA who give the animals a voice. And you should hang your head in shame.

  • Canaduck says:

    Good for PETA Germany. I live in Canada and am continually embarrassed by the seal “hunt”. Can’t really call it a hunt when it’s targeting 12 day to 12 week old baby seals can we?

  • John Carmody says:

    I just love it here in Ireland we are trying our hardest to highlight the shameful cruelty. Come on Canadian PETA members get out onto the streets and help stop this cruelty.

  • Carla says:

    There no difference to me Mr. Honorable “NOT” Tom Rideout! There is nothing ETHICAL in the ways these seals are MURDERED for THEIR skin!! Shame on you!! And good on the video and enlightment it may make on alot of peoples’ mind!!

  • Holly says:

    MOSCOW Russian authorities plan to change bearhunting regulations to allow the killing of cubs in lairs during hibernation season animal rights groups said Wednesday. Hunting for bears with young cubs is illegal in Russia but the rule is not enforced for hibernating bears. The Agriculture Ministry refused to comment on the report made by the International Fund for Animal Welfare. Click here to visit’s Natural Science Center.

  • Ana says:

    I hate when the word harvest is used. These sentient beings are not vegetables. My vegetables don’t scream in agony when I eat them. What a powerful and painful video to watch. I can’t help but think how barbaric and violent these subhumans are that slaughter these seals so cruelly with no compunction. It makes me sick at heart to see this and know this continues over and over. I can see how man has evolved when I view these videos. Gives the word barbarian an extra kick. If people ever wonder why we are violent to one another just take a look at this video for starters and you will understand why. Revolting and bad for the spirit.