issue 153

Boycott news from Ethical Consumer magazine, Issue 153 March/April 2015.



British Airways urged to part company with SeaWorld


Boycott HP over Israel


Boycott Harvey Nichols over fur



British Airways urged to part company with SeaWorld

The latest target of animal rights group PETA’s campaign against SeaWorld is British Airways (BA) who is still selling trips to SeaWorld, despite overwhelming evidence that orcas and other animals suffer in marine parks.

According to PETA: “Keeping enormous, intelligent animals such as orcas in tiny concrete tanks and forcing them to perform is deeply unethical and can literally drive them insane.

Persistent health problems and neurotic or aggressive behaviour are common among captive cetaceans. Some orcas on display at SeaWorld were snatched from the wild, while others are the result of dangerous inbreeding. All of them lead stressful, unhappy lives far removed from their natural environment.”

After holding meetings with PETA and other groups working to protect marine mammals, PETA had hoped that BA would follow in the footsteps of student travel company STA Travel, United Airlines and many other companies by severing all ties with SeaWorld. But that didn’t happen.

The film Blackfish – a compelling documentary about how orcas are imprisoned, exploited and driven mad by SeaWorld – had a big impact. Several weeks after the film was released in 2013, SeaWorld cut its ticket prices after a decline in attendance, and the stock price suffered.

PETA bought shares in SeaWorld to give them the right to attend and speak at annual meetings and to submit shareholder resolutions asking for policy changes. Last year, the private equity firm The Blackstone Group, reduced its 43% stake in SeaWorld to 25%.

Write to BA’s head of environment, Jonathon Counsell, from PETA UK’s website and let him know that you won’t be flying with the airline until it changes its policy.

You can also write to SeaWorld from PETA’s dedicated website and tell SeaWorld to release the captive orcas into sanctuaries.


Boycott HP over Israel

Last November the The Coalition to Stop HP launched their UK campaign against Hewlett Packard (HP). The campaign kicked off with a day of action, which saw activists occupy Curry’s PC World in Brighton and dramatise an Israeli checkpoint outside the store.

HP is a key partner in the Israeli occupation, as we highlighted in our guide to laptops and tablets. The company has multiple contracts with the Israeli government to provide technology and equipment to the army and prison services.

Not only that, HP also developed and maintains the biometric control system used at checkpoints across the West Bank and Gaza and in doing so directly participates in depriving. Palestinians of freedom of movement in their own territory.

The Coalition is inviting people to join the action against HP by signing a petition and pledging to boycott all HP products.



Boycott Harvey Nichols over fur

Boycott Harvey Nichols over fur The Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade (CAFT) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) are putting pressure on Harvey Nichols to stop selling fur, again.

The campaign is in response to the store’s decision in September to renege on its fur-free policy of 2004 and start selling real fur once more.

The Harvey Nichols Press and Marketing Director said: “I can confirm that our buyers have bought fur-trimmed products for this season. We have taken this opportunity to review our fur policy and from this season onwards we will be stocking fur-trimmed products. The fur used is ethically sourced and humanely farmed.”

Since the announcement campaigners have been calling for a boycott of Harvey Nichols until they reinstate their fur-free policy, and have been protesting outside the various branches of the department store every week.

In October 2014, Harvey Nichols’ head of fashion Paula Reed was forced to resign over her decision to start selling fur again but, despite this, the company has continued with its new policy.

CAFT and PETA are now asking people to join the campaign by going on protests or emailing the company.