- Chinese Activists Rally Against Canadian Seal Products
- Canada’s Marineland Faces Allegations of Animal Neglect From Former Trainers
- Fishermen’s Close Call With Giant Marlin Caught on Video
Chinese activists from the Capital Animal Welfare Association (CAWA), based in Beijing, have written a letter to the Canadian Senate asking them to cease promotion of Canadian seal products in China, promising a continued campaign against the seal product trade until it has stopped. Seals are a protected species in China, and use of seal products is not a part of their traditions. The letter points out that despite more than three decades of Canadian subsidies invested to promote seal products in China, no significant markets have ever emerged. CAWA also took issue with remarks made by the chairman of DPA Industries, a Canadian seal oil supplement manufacturer, who was quoted by two Canadian newspapers as saying, “The Chinese eat anything. And they simply don’t understand why you would put one animal over another.” The activist group dismissed these remarks as highly offensive and misleading, concluding the letter with the statement, “Chinese consumers care about animal welfare and safety, and we strongly oppose trade in products from commercial seal slaughters. Please be assured that China will never become a dumping ground for products that the rest of the world has so overtly rejected.”
A Marineland Canada trainer was fired this week following allegations that orcas and belugas were being neglected or mistreated, citing the 37-year old orca Kiska as one current example, as the animal has been bleeding from cuts on the tail since July, her condition worsening in recent weeks. Upon her termination, Christine Santos was asked to sign a document that stated she’d never observed animal abuse at Marineland, which she refused, saying that “it didn’t feel right.” Santos had been one of Kiska’s primary trainers up until her release, and noted that the orca was once one of Marineland’s top show animals, but has become listless and is frequently scratching parts of her body against sharp fiberglass grates that line her pool, behavior that began manifesting after the deaths of her calf and other orca companion 4 years ago. Other former trainers have also spoken out against the conditions of marine mammals at the Canadian tourist park, claiming there were not enough trainers to sufficiently attend to every animal’s need. One trainer noted that 27 of the 39 beluga whales kept at Marineland were rarely attended to further than daily feedings, and that there were only 7 or 8 trainers to care for roughly 40 animals. The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Animal Cruelty has launched an investigation, which remains ongoing, but representatives for Marineland maintain that the allegations are inaccurate.
A group of sport fishermen off the coast of Cairns, Australia, got more than they bargained for when a 600 lb black marlin they were reeling in suddenly jumped aboard, causing a few terrifying seconds of destruction and panic: