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December 8, 2010

China Grill Management Group Pledges to Protect Seals

The Humane Society of the United States is pleased to announce that China Grill Management, Inc. has joined the ProtectSeals boycott of Canadian seafood. The trendsetting restaurant group, headquartered in New York, has 24 locations in cities across the United States, including Atlanta, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami and New York as well as in London and Mexico City. It joins an impressive list of restaurant groups across the United States that are boycotting Canadian seafood until Canada ends its annual commercial slaughter of seal pups.

“We believe that the unnecessary killing of Canada’s seal pups must stop. We are proud to take a stand against this senseless slaughter,” says China Grill Management Group Corporate Chef, Luke Rinaman. “By choosing not to purchase snow crabs from Canada, we are sending a clear and unequivocal message that Canada’s commercial seal hunt must end.”

“We couldn’t be more pleased that China Grill Management Group has joined our campaign,” says John Grandy, Ph.D., senior vice president of wildlife for The HSUS. “They add a powerful voice to the many other restaurant groups that will not tolerate the senseless slaughter of Canada’s seal pups.” 

Throughout the United States, Canada and Europe, support for the boycott is growing with more than 5,500 restaurants and grocery stores participating. These include more than 100 restaurants in Miami, Coral Gables, Fla. and Coconut Grove, Fla. and the new China Grill Management additions of Asia de Cuba at The Mondrian Hotel, The Blue Door, Plat Bleu and Blue Sea at the Delano Hotel, and China Grill restaurants in Miami and at the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina. 

Top chefs such as Mario Batali, Cat Cora, Michel Richard, Kerry Simon, Todd Miller, Nancy Oakes, Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger have pledged their support as have such companies as Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe's, Oceanaire, Harris Teeter, Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville Cafes, Legal Sea Foods, BI-LO Supermarkets, WinCo Foods, Ted Turner's steakhouse chain - Ted's Montana Grill, and Bon Appétit Management Company. A complete list of grocery companies and seafood suppliers participating in the boycott is here and a list of participating restaurants is here.  

Facts:

  • Canada's seal slaughter targets defenseless baby seals. Canadian government kill reports show that 97 percent of the seals killed in recent years have been younger than 3 months old, while most have been just 1 month old or younger at the time of slaughter.
  • Veterinary experts argue that Canada's commercial seal slaughter is inherently inhumane because of the extreme, uncontrolled environment in which the killing operates and the speed at which the killing must occur.
  • Global markets for seal products are closing. Canada's two largest trading partners—the United States and the European Union—have both prohibited trade in seal products. Mexico and Croatia have also ended their trade in seal products, and animal protection groups the world over are urging more nations to follow suit.
  • The Canadian sealing industry achieved record low economic returns in both 2009 and 2010. While the industry brought in roughly $1 million in each of these years, the Canadian government estimates the cost of enforcement at the slaughter to be up to $3.6 million annually. In addition, the Canadian government has invested millions of dollars in promoting the sealing industry internationally and working to block prohibitions on seal product trade.
  • A boycott of Canadian seafood, that will continue until the seal slaughter ends for good, has already cost the Canadian economy many times the value of the sealing industry. More than 5,500 establishments and 650,000 people have pledged to avoid some or all Canadian seafood until the seal hunt ends for good. Recent polling conducted by Ipsos Reid shows that two-thirds of Newfoundland sealers holding an opinion are concerned about the impact of the boycott. For more information about the campaign to save Canadian seals, please visit hsicanada.ca.

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The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the Web at humanesociety.org

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