Tom Lantos introduced H. Res 427, which urges Canada to end the seal hunt. It passed on a voice vote on July 30th. Here are some of Mr. Lantos remarks:
Mr. Speaker, we are all familiar with National Geographic images of fluffy white baby seals nestled next to their mothers. We stare at them on our TV screens or in our magazines and reflexively remark about how adorable they are. But now imagine, if you can, the brutal death that awaits hundreds of thousands of these baby seals every single year. With stunning barbarism, Canadian hunters swoop in with heavy clubs and stun guns to immobilize these little innocent creatures. They are then skinned alive simply so that their soft white fur can adorn winter coats, coats that could be composed of different materials without torturing animals .
These gruesome images are sadly commonplace in the Canadian Northwest. The Canadian Government estimates that over 1 million seals have been killed in the most recent 3-year period. Public outcry over this barbarism led to a ban of all seal products in the United States and in the European Union in 1983. Unfortunately, the public seems to have forgotten that the grisly practices of commercial seal hunters still go on, and international pressure on Canada to end the hunt has abated.
My resolution brings the focus of the United States Congress back to this heinous yearly slaughter. It urges the Canadian Government to cease this gruesome practice and bring Canadian policy in line with that of the United States and the European Union.
While the resolution can't force Canada to do anything, I suppose it will at least let them know we disapprove. Belgium doesn't care for it either, as they recently banned seal products. Canada is taking them to the WTO for that.