THE seal hunt is about to begin again on the ice floes off the east coast of Canada. It is the largest, most brutal slaughter of marine mammals on the planet.

More than 1,250,000 seal pups have been clubbed or shot to death over the last four years in Canada, the majority less than 12 weeks old.

An independent veterinary study concluded that 42 per cent of seals may have been skinned while still conscious. These seals are slaughtered solely for the commercial value of their fur.

Respect for Animals warmly welcomes the government's statement that the UK would be pressing the European Commission to propose EU-wide measures to ban the import of harp and hooded seal products.

Last year a record number of members of the European Parliament (425) signed a written declaration calling for a ban on the import of seal products and an Early Day Motion in the UK Parliament calling for a UK ban has currently been signed by 220 MPs. W hat is required now is a moratorium on seal imports, pending a further statement from the commission.

Urgent action is now needed and it is our firm conclusion that it will also need an effective boycott of Canadian fish and seafood products to persuade Canada to end this brutality and this is why we are running our Boycott Canada campaign.

A boycott of Canadian seafood is an effective way for people to help the seals as it is the very same commercial fishermen who are directly involved in the hunt who provide supermarkets and fish markets with produce.

We are therefore asking you to stop buying Canadian fish and seafood products until the hunt has been ended for good.

For more information please visit our website at or call 0115 952 5440.

MANDY CARTER, Respect for Animals, Nottingham.