Subject: Paul McCartney supports demonstrators in call for ban on trade in
Brussels, 1 July 2008
Paul McCartney supports demonstrators in call for ban on trade in seal
To download free to use pictures and footage of today's successful
Rock legend Paul McCartney joined concerned citizens from all over Europe in
their call for a strong EU ban on the trade in seal products as they
demonstrated outside the offices of the European Commission in Brussels
today. Organised by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), Humane
Society International (HSI), GAIA and Eurogroup for Animals, the peaceful
demonstration attracted people from across the European Union and beyond,
including countries such as Germany, Slovakia, France, the Netherlands,
Belgium, Hungary, Finland, UK, Sweden, Italy, and Croatia.
The Commission is expected to publish a proposal on a possible ban soon. The
date of the demonstration was selected to coincide with the start of the
French presidency and the start of the Namibian seal hunt, which is the
second largest one in the world.
Paul McCartney paid tribute to the demonstrators in a surprise video message
shown on a screen. The dedicated animal welfare supporter said: "Stopping
the import of seal fur into the European Union could really put an end to
this brutality once and for all -- please ask the EU to ban this terrible
The crowd held a minute's silence in honour of the millions of seals that
have been killed in the last few decades, and blew whistles to show their
disapproval with the hunt. European parliamentarians also came on stage to
show their support for a robust and comprehensive trade ban across the
Sonja Van Tichelen, director of Eurogroup for Animals, said: "The fact that
people turned up in such large numbers from all over the EU for today's
demonstration, shows the strength of feeling against the seal hunt. European
citizens are not willing to support this deadly trade."
Lesley O'Donnell, director of IFAW EU office, said: "Year after year our
observers record unimaginable levels of animal cruelty out on the ice floes
during Canada's huge commercial seal hunt, which is not only unacceptable
but an entirely useless and wasteful activity. Europeans want no part of
Mark Glover, director of HSI UK, said: "It is now up to the Commission to
take the next step, and propose a ban that would help speed up the end of
the seal hunt."
Michel Vandenbosch, president of GAIA, added: "No doubt an EU-wide ban is
the way forward to end this unacceptable and indefensible cruelty."
Pictures and footage released at simultaneous press events all over Europe
on 25 April demonstrated why the seal hunt could never be humane. The
graphic evidence taken during the annual hunt in Canada earlier this year
showed hunters ignoring the regulations, failing to kill seals quickly, and
hooking and hoisting live seals into boats.
Animal welfare organisations and MEPs are not calling for an end to
traditional Inuit seal hunting (in accordance with humane animal welfare
standards) which only accounts for a very small proportion of the harp seals
hunted in Canada. The ban only addresses the large scale commercial seal
hunting, and includes seal products derived from commercial hunts elsewhere,
such as in Namibia and Russia.
For more information call Steven Blaakman, press officer at Eurogroup for
Animals, on 0032 (0)27400823 or email him on
s.blaakman@eurogrou pforanimals. org. Outside office hours please call 0032
Alternatively call Günther Pauls, communications officer at IFAW EU, on 0032
(0) 282 0693 or email him on gpauls@ifaw. org. Outside office hours please
call 0032 (0)473 86 34 61.
Also available is HSI spokeswoman Dr Jo Swabe on 00 31 651 317 004
-- Eurogroup for Animals represents animal welfare organisations in nearly
all European member states. Since it was launched in 1980, the organisation
has succeeded in encouraging the European Union to adopt higher legal
standards of animal protection. For more information about Eurogroup, visit
-- The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) is one of the world's
largest animal welfare and conservation charities, which is dedicated to
improving the welfare of wild and domestic animals throughout the world by
reducing commercial exploitation of animals, protecting wildlife habitats,
and assisting animals in distress. For more about IFAW, visit
-- The Humane Society International (HSI) is one of the world's largest
animal protection groups, and addresses issues such as inhumane practices
and conditions affecting companion and farm animals, illegal trade in
wildlife, threats to endangered species, slaughter of marine mammals, and
the use of animals in research and testing. For more information, visit
-- GAIA, or Global Action in the Interest of Animals, unites human defenders
of animal welfare and advocates and advocates against animal abuse in
Belgium. Brussels based GAIA was the leading Belgian organisation
successfully campaigning for the Belgian ban on the trade of all seals
products of all species of seals. For more information, visit
-- A ban on seal products is widely supported by European parliamentarians.
In 2006 425 MEPs signed a resolution to urge the Commission to ban the trade
in seal products.
-- Belgium, the Netherlands, Croatia, Slovenia, the US and Mexico have
already banned seal products, while Germany and Italy are planning a ban.
Paul McCartney campaigns against kangaroo cull in Australia at military base
CANBERRA (Reuters) - A British animal protection group is using the face of former Beatle Paul McCartney in an international campaign against a planned cull of hundreds of kangaroos on an Australian military base.
As demonstrators on Wednesday promised human shields to protect the animals, McCartney appeared on a website set up by the British animal welfare group Viva! to condemn the cull of up to 500 animals using tranquilizer darts and lethal injection.
"There is an urgent need for action to protect kangaroos from a barbaric industry which slaughters them for meat and leather," McCartney said in an undated message.
"Please do all you can to help Viva! end this shameful massacre."
The eastern grey kangaroos, which feature on Australia's coat of arms, are living on a military communications base in the nation's capital Canberra.
Authorities say the animals, on death row since May last year, threaten other local species through overgrazing.
Wildlife Protection Association spokesman Pat O'Brien said the cull of animals synonymous with Australia could damage tourism and promised human shields to protect them, with barricades and demonstrations to be set up on Thursday.
"I'm sure there will be people standing in front of the dart guns," O'Brien told Australian radio.
Viva!, or Vegetarians International Voice for Animals, said it had launched a Europe-wide campaign against the cull and by Wednesday had gathered more than 1,300 protest signatures from 36 countries on an Australian-based web page.
The petition, which had photographs of kangaroos in rifle crosshairs, included supporters from Spain, England, the United States, Switzerland, France, Canada, South Africa and Germany.
In 2004 there was an international outcry over the shooting of 900 kangaroos at a dam supplying water to Canberra. The animals were causing erosion problems through grazing.
Environment Minister Peter Garrett, a former head of Australia's conservation movement, said he would not intervene.
"Programs like this, humanely and properly administered, are sometimes necessary," he told reporters.
The cull, Garrett said, would not damage Australia's anti-whaling campaign, which has angered Japan amid international efforts to close a loophole permitting scientific whaling.
But Australian Greens Senator Bob Brown said it would bring "further notoriety" for Australia's treatment of wildlife.
"(Prime Minister) Kevin Rudd could begin by saving those kangaroos and making sure they are transported to a safe haven ... rather than be given a deadly injection and left as a heap on the ground," he said.
[Asian News International]
Washington, Mar 12, 2008: Former Beatles member Sir Paul McCartney is the face of a new PETA campaign ad called "I am a vegetarian".
McCartney, who is 65-years-old, has been an active participant of PETA with his 40-year-old estranged wife Heather Mills.
"If anyone wants to save the planet, all they have to do is just stop eating meat," Usmagazine.com quoted McCartney as having said.
"Many years ago, I was fishing, and as I was reeling in the poor fish, I realized, 'I am killing him - all for the passing pleasure it brings me'," he said.
"Something inside me clicked. I realized as I watched him fight for breath that his life was as important to him as mine is to me."
"I am Paul McCartney, and I am a vegetarian," he added.