Everyone loves seals don't they?
You know what I'm taking about: those funny animals like what appeared in the Marx Brothers film Copacabana (1947), and occassionally in Tom & Jerry cartoons like the episode titled Little Runaway (1952) below.
Well apparently not everyone: and that's the reason for a new short animated film called Bonnie's Tale [below] animated by Edinburgh College of Art graduate Selina Wagner, with narration by Richard Briers (the voice of Fiver in the 1978 animated film Watership Down)...
The film was commissioned by Advocates For Animals as part of the Look Out For Seals campaign to highlight the need for a reform of Scotland's Conservation of Seals Act 1970.
After watching Selina's lovely new animation, please clicky here and enter your details to sign their online petition urging the Scottish government to review the Conservation of Seals Act, and help protect a beautiful, but endangered, species.
Some background information:
Scotland is home to about 45% of the world's grey seal population, but shockingly, there is no law to protect seals from being hunted in Scotland, which means that they are becoming a "conservation priority species in the UK and Europe". In some parts of Scotland, the seal population has declined by 40% within the last 5 years alone!
Seals are getting shot by fishermen and fish farmers who think of seals as a competitor because they both hunt fish - however fish are not the main food source for seals, and indeed fishermen, other fish, and sea birds all kill more fish than seals!
The Conservation of Seals Act 1970 was supposed to protect seals, yet major loopholes mean that fishermen can shoot seals all year round (even during breeding season) if they come within "the vicinity" of fisheries and equipment - however there is no definition of "vicinity" within this law, and an Arbroath fisherman escaped penalty in 2006 for shooting seals half a mile from his fishing nets!
Also during 2006 close season, four pregnant grey seals were found shot dead with gunshot injuries to the head at the Point of Vastray in Orkney. The police investigated it, and although the area was found covered in blood, nobody was charged. What makes it worse, is that seals only produce one pup each year, which effectively means that up to 4 unborn seals were also killed. Within the last 40 years there has only been only been one successful prosecution under the Conservation of Seals Act 1970!