From Issue 132, September/October 2011
Canada seafood boycott making an impact
Campaigners from Respect for Animals say that the boycott of Canadian seafood is having a big impact. Since it came into effect, the value of snow crab exports from Canada to the US has fallen by roughly $200 million a year. Mandy Carter, Campaign Coordinator for Respect for Animals says “We believe that the boycott is a significant contributor to Newfoundlanders’ inability to sell seafood to markets at levels they did in the past.”
Canada exports more than 80% of its seafood, and the European Union is its third largest market. A boycott of Canadian seafood several year ago by UK supermarkets resulted in Canada stopping the hunt for some time. This, say campaigners, is why the boycott is so important. Respect for Animals was instrumental in achieving a ban on seal products within the European Union, which Mandy says “was a fantastic victory for seals” but that on on its own “will not end the hunt, only economic pressure can now bring an end to the slaughter”.
The seal hunt is undertaken by fishermen during the closed fishing season and they earn less than 5% of their annual income from sealing, with their main income coming from the sale of fish and seafood products. Mandy says, “In simple financial terms, ultimately protecting fishing income is more important to the industry than carrying on with the small level of income generated by the seal hunt, so the boycott makes sense.”Public opinion polls consistently show that the vast majority of people in the UK are strongly opposed to the seal hunt. A recent poll showed that 79% of the British public want the hunt banned.
Visit the campaign’s new website at www.boycott-canada.com
Window dressing for the occupation
The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) has called for a boycott of Swedish fashion giant H&M in response to the opening of its second store in Israel. The store is in Malha, a village in Jerusalem that activists say was ethnically cleansed during the Nakba – the ‘catastrophe’ that accompanied the creation of the Israeli state in 1948. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were forcibly displaced, and villages such as al-Maliha (now Malha) were destroyed or re-populated, their Palestinian heritage denied or erased.
A press statement on the BDS website said that “ While H&M is clearly not the only international chain that is operating in Israel, its decision to invest substantially in Israel after its criminal war of aggression on Gaza and in the midst of its intensified colonization of Jerusalem in contravention of international law can only be understood by Palestinians and supporters of just peace around the world as a form of support for Israel’s abhorrent violations of international law and human rights.”
Read more at www.bdsmovement.net
Donna Karan ‘butchering bunnies’ again
The US animal rights group PETA has called a boycott of Donna Karan because of its use of rabbit fur. PETA is asking supporters to tell Donna Karan executives they will boycott the designer’s collections until she stops using fur. A boycott campaign was initially launched in December 2008 but was halted when the company announced that its autumn 2009 lines would be fur-free and that it had “no plans” to use fur in the future. The company has reneged and is once again subject to a boycott campaign, under the banner ‘Donna Karan Bunny Butcher’, which will continue until the company dumps fur for good.
You can email the company at www.dkbunnybutcher.com
Tourist boycott of ‘human safari park’
Survival is calling for tourists to boycott the main highway in India’s Andaman Islands – an illegal road which cuts through the land of the endangered Jarawa tribe.
India’s Supreme Court ordered the road closed in 2002, but it remains open. It is highly dangerous for the Jarawa, who number just 365. These hunter-gatherers have only had contact with outsiders since 1998 and are thus at risk of infectious disease from tourists. Campaigners say an epidemic could decimate the tribe.
They also argue that the Jarawa reserve has become a human safari park. According to Survival, tour companies and cab drivers ‘attract’ the Jarawa with biscuits and sweets. They even quote one tourist as saying ‘The journey through the tribal reserve was like a safari ride as we were going amidst dense tropical rainforest and looking for wild animals, Jarawa tribals to be specific’.
Survival’s Director, Stephen Corry said, ‘We’re calling today for all tourists to boycott the Andaman Trunk Road, which the local administration has kept open in defiance of a Supreme Court order nine years ago to close it. Despite the regulations tourists are still invading the Jarawa’s territory, putting their lives at risk... If the situation does not improve we will call for a boycott of all tourism to the Andamans’.
You can find out more at www.survivalinternational.org.
Click here to see Boycott News from previous issues of the magazine.