Seal hunt foes get naked, dirty outside Canadian PM’s office

Naked animal rights activists braved frigid temperatures to protest Canada’s annual seal hunt, curling up in the snow outside Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s office to make their point.

Three bare women soaked in red dye posed as slaughtered seals for almost an hour, attracting abashed glances from passers-by as strong winds pushed temperatures below minus 15 degrees Celsius (five degrees Fahrenheit).

“They’re very dedicated. They know that sometimes you have to go outside your comfort zone to raise awareness,” Matt Rice, a spokesman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), told AFP.

“This slaughter is a stain on Canada’s reputation. It’s time the Canadian government finally end the hunt once and for all.”

The prime minister’s office had no immediate comment.

Last year, the hunt attracted protests from celebrities such as former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney and his wife, Heather Mills McCartney; French film legend Brigitte Bardot; and Canadian-born actress and former Playboy model Pamela Anderson.

But their protests have largely been ignored by Ottawa, which authorized the cull of 325,000 seals in 2006.

Canadian officials, including Harper, have rebuked the naysayers previously, claiming the hunt is humane and does not threaten the species.

Local supporters of the commercial hunt, meanwhile, have lamented the arrival each March or April of dozens of activists and celebrities to criticize the hunt.


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