PETA recently tried to take its campaign against Canada’s annual seal hunt to Canadian televisions, but the organization’s new commercial has been deemed “too graphic” for viewers.
According to the Huffington Post, the Television Bureau of Canada has required two scenes to be deleted if the ad is to be aired on Canadian networks. The bureau gives approval for PSAs and commercials. “The following scenes will need to be removed. The scene at 39 seconds with the dying seal will need to be removed [and] the scene at 45 seconds will need to be revised so that the second seal the man hits is removed,” wrote Jessica Bassermann of the Television Bureau.
The first scene in question is footage of a seal coughing up blood after being clubbed, and the second shows a sealer clubbing a seal then hooking and dragging the body across the bloody ice. PETA is refusing to remove the scenes which they feel show the reality of the seal cull. “We think the truth should be shown. We think that if the government is this proud and goes to such great lengths to defend this program, this program should be seen by the country and by the people who pay for it. We don’t want it whitewashed and we don’t want it generalized, we want to show exactly what they do,” said PETA’s senior VP Dan Mathews.
Bassermann told PETA that if the Bureau approves the ad, they are still likely to be turned down by TV stations. One station, CTV Edmonton, was approached by PETA and has agreed with the Bureau that the scenes must be removed before they will air the ad.
The new ad, which can be seen on PETA’s website, stars Canadian actress Emmanuelle Vaugier. Vaugier points out that not only is the hunt cruel, but at least $7 million of taxpayer money is spent on it each year. “Millions more are spent propping up this dying industry even though income from this slaughter accounts for less than one per cent of the economy of Newfoundland where it takes place.” According to Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield’s spokeswoman Erin Filliter, the government does not itemize this spending and therefore the amount could not be confirmed. She also claimed that Canada’s seal cull is “conducted in a humane and respectful way and the full use of animals harvested is strongly encouraged.”