by Barry Kent MacKay,
Senior Program Associate
Born Free USA's Canadian Representative
Barry is an artist, both with words and with paint. He has been associated with our organization for nearly three decades and is our go-to guy for any wildlife question. He knows his animals — especially birds — and the issues that affect them. His blogs will give you just the tip of his wildlife-knowledge iceberg, so be sure to stay and delve deeper into his Canadian Project articles. If you like wildlife and reading, Barry's your man. (And we're happy to have him as part of our team, too!)
Thoughts of One Grateful Canadian
On Monday, May 4, 2009, the European Union passed a law banning nearly all products derived from what has colloquially become known as the Canadian seal hunt. Fellow Canadians I know were delighted at the news. The largest annual marine mammal slaughter in the world, with a quota currently set at approximately 300,000 seals, most of whom are only a few weeks old, has been a major cause of the animal protection movement for decades, and has been condemned around the world.
Recently a horrific fate awaited more than two dozen deer.
We are told Lucy has a tooth problem. But what is being done to fix it? Perhaps nothing. We know that Lucy is being kept all by herself, which is, in fact, illegal. We are also told that Lucy is better off where she is, than being sent to a place where she could be much more free, and no longer alone. And we are told that Lucy is well-loved. And who the heck is Lucy, anyway?
About Canada’s Pathetic Effort to Mollify Europeans
The European Union is poised to implement a trade ban on all products derived from the notorious, Canadian annual east coast seal hunt, “to ensure that products derived from seals killed and skinned in ways that cause pain, distress and suffering are not found on the European market.”
Even today, more than a week later as I type these words, the propane blast that rocked northwest Toronto early in the morning of Sunday, August 10, forcing a major evacuation and damaging much property, dominates the local news. It even made CNN News, briefly, although with only two deaths resulting from the explosion of a propane storage facility inexplicably located in a residential neighborhood, it faded fast.
Cruelty in the name of sport
The boat in my driveway was pulled away last night by its happy purchasers, who plan to use it at their cottage on Rice Lake, Ontario. It belonged to all of us at Cormorant Defenders International, some of whom had used it to monitor and film the culling of cormorants by Parks Canada staff in Lake Erie, last spring. While we opposed the culling, it went ahead anyway, although of the 4,000 they planned to kill, they managed to kill only 211.
How the fur trade hurts native trappers (but pretends to care about them)
Three cheers for Delaware for signing into law, on July 3rd, a new law that says that garments made from animal fur must be so labeled. The law goes into effect on June 1, 2010. New York State has a similar law. But oh, I wish those laws had gone one step farther. Let me explain.
Some months ago a colleague asked me about the OSPCA (Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) Act, proposed for Ontario, which, at the time, was being lauded in some quarters. My friend Lesli Bisgould, an animal rights lawyer, has done a short and informal critique, which is as follows: