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December 12, 2012

Celebrity Chef Curtis Stone Teams Up with The HSUS’ Protect Seals Campaign

  • Celebrity chef Curtis Stone joins more than 6,000 chefs, restaurants and grocery stores already taking part in the Protect Seals boycott.  Quentin Bacon

The Humane Society of the United States is proud to announce that celebrity chef Curtis Stone has joined its Protect Seals campaign in an effort to end Canada’s commercial seal slaughter.

The goal of the HSUS’ Protect Seals campaign is to pressure the Canadian government and fisheries to end the annual commercial slaughter of tens of thousands of baby seals – one of the largest slaughters of marine mammals in the world - through a buyout of the commercial fishermen’s sealing licenses. The pups, 98 percent of whom are less than 3 months old when they are shot or clubbed, are often skinned alive.

Stone, host of Bravo’s hugely popular series Top Chef Masters, is also an award-winning chef and best-selling author. His philosophy is to cook as Mother Nature intended—buy local, seasonal and organic ingredients, keep recipes simple and allow the food to speak for itself. 

"The Humane Society of the United States is delighted to have Curtis Stone lend his support to our Protect Seals campaign," said Kathryn Kullberg, marine wildlife director for The HSUS. "As a respected and well-known chef, Stone is able to shine a light on the cruelty of the completely unnecessary and inhumane slaughter of baby seals. We welcome him to the campaign.”

Curtis Stone joins more than 6,000 chefs, restaurants and grocery stores already taking part in the Protect Seals boycott. Fellow chefs include Charlie Ayers, Mario Batali, Richard Blais, Cat Cora, Susan Feniger, Carla Hall, Mary Sue Milliken, Michael Mina, Nancy Oakes, Michel Richard, Aarón Sanchez, Kerry Simon, Tre Wilcox and Patricia Yeo, among others.

“I’m proud to stand with The Humane Society of the United States and the hundreds of other chefs working to encourage Canada’s fishing industry and its government to end the Canadian seal slaughter once and for all,” says Stone. “It’s important to stand up for what is right, and as chefs we have the power to enact change.”

Some of the companies participating include Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods Markets, Harris Teeter, The Patina Group, China Grill Management Inc., Batali – Bastianich Hospitality Group, Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Cafés, Legal Sea Foods, the Bon Appétit Management Company and Ted Turner’s Ted’s Montana Grill. See the full list here.

A smart phone app, released in the spring of 2012, and which is available for free on iPhone and Android phones, at humanesociety.org/sealapp, allows individuals to locate seal-friendly businesses that have signed the Protect Seals pledge.   

Canada's seal slaughter is conducted by commercial fishermen who earn, on average, less than 5 percent of their annual income from killing seals. Polling in 2010 by research firm Ipsos Reid shows that 50 percent of Newfoundland sealers holding an opinion support a federal industry buyout – a plan in which sealers would be compensated for their licenses, and funds invested in economic alternatives in the communities involved.

Facts:

  • Ninety-seven percent of the seals killed are defenseless pups younger than 3 months old. The seals are killed primarily for their fur, which is exported for use in fashion markets.
  • Canada's commercial seal hunt is one of the largest slaughters of marine mammals on Earth, with nearly 1 million seals killed in the past five years alone.
  • Veterinary experts say Canada's commercial seal hunt is inherently inhumane because of the environment in which it operates and the speed at which the killing occurs.
  • The majority of income for commercial sealers comes not from killing seals but from seafood including crab, shrimp and lobster.
  • Canadian government representatives have said the only way the commercial seal hunt can be ended is if the fishing industry demands it.
  • To give the Canadian fishing industry an incentive to act, The HSUS launched the Protect Seals boycott of Canadian seafood in 2005.

Media Contact: Heather Sullivan, 301.548.7778; hsullivan@humanesociety.org 

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