© By Othmar Vohringer
The Olympic Winter Games in British Columbia were widely used to stage another Olympics of sorts. Animal rights activists, anti hunting groups and self-proclaimed wildlife conservationists from around the world encroached on Vancouver from the U.S.A., Germany, Australia, Ireland, Great Britain, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, France, Belgium, Spain and Switzerland. Yes that’s right, from my own birth country. I hang my head in shame.
While the real Olympic athletes competed honourably for medals in various athletic disciplines the animal rights groups competed for media and public attention with their heated rhetoric geared to evoke emotional reactions and loosen the wallets of a largely fact ignorant people. Anti seal hunt demonstrations throughout Vancouver and on television where part of the animal rights international media blitz Olympics. Even the athletes where not spared from animal rights attacks, either because the athlete is a hunter or trapper, such as the Canadian Biathlete, Megan Imrie, who posed proudly in front of her fur shed, or like American figure skater Johnny Weir who lets everybody know willing to listen that he likes to wear fur on and off the ice.
Why choose British Columbia, or Canada for that matter, to stage the largest anti hunting and animal rights demonstration the world has ever seen? Well Canada is the only country in the word that hunts the "cuddly" seals. The images of “slaughtered baby seals” that are "torn away from their wailing mothers", according to animal right rhetoric, have been a huge moneymaker for them. It is for this and no other reason that animal rights use pictures and film footage of a newborn harp seals (whitecoats) and hooded seals (bluebacks), which by the way are outlawed to hunt in Canada since 1987. But you would never guess that fact from the old revamped 50's and 60's, or digitally made up, pictures and film clips the animal rights circulate on their websites, advertising flyers and fundraising events. It has the desired shock value and that in turn means billions of donations are flowing in which are used to fabricate more horror stories, emotional blackmail and armchair science for the gullible masses.
To add more effect to the staged drama animal rights often accuse seal hunters to “skin seals while they are still alive”. Incidentally the same unfounded hideous claims are made about slaughterhouses skinning and chopping up livestock while still alive. A study commissioned by the Canadian government in 2002 and published in the Veterinary Journal found that “seals taken during a hunt are killed in an acceptable humane manner.” The Canadian Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) cited in an inquiry to the allegations that 98 % of hunted seals it examined had been killed properly. The study and inquiry are proof that the seal hunt opponents are wrong and clearly maintain the “barbaric” image of seal hunters for their own financial gains.
What about the claim that seals are a species at risk? Well you do the math. Canada’s seal population is an estimated 6.5 Million and growing. The federal annual seal harvest quota is between 92,000 and 226,000. Harvest quotas are adjusted annually up or down to adjust to the overall seal population. You see the seal hunt in Canada is not only an economic necessity for many people living way up north but also a wildlife management program. The same wildlife management program that is responsible for Canada’s large variety of wildlife species in healthy sustainable and well balanced populations.
Despite the media circus the animal rights staged and their offensive in-your-face, often violent too, approach on the streets all over Vancouver and Whistler most people ignored them. British Colombians paid billions of dollars to have the Olympics here and we are not about to have the biggest party of our lifetime spoiled by a few hundred sour crapes.
By the way our Canadian athletes did better than anyone had expected. As of this writing 13 gold, 7 silver and 5 bronze medals is nothing to be sneezed at. Canada is after America and Germany on 3th place of the countries that won the most medals. By the end of the Games Canada could well be on 2nd. place. Congratulations to our athletes. Go Canada Go!
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Tags: 2010 Olympic Winter Games, Animal Rights Activists, Seal Hunting, Bear Hunting, Fur, TEXT