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Canadian premiers seek end of seal clubs

  |   April 16, 2008 at 8:57 AM
ST. JOHN'S , Newfoundland, April 16 (UPI) -- Two eastern Canadian provincial premiers have called for a ban on the use of clubs to kill baby seals in the controversial annual hunts.

Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams and Nunavut Premier Paul Okalik said the federal government should allow the use of rifles, but not clubs (long poles with a hook on the end), the Canwest News Service reported.

Both men said the call was based on findings of a fact-finding delegation in Europe, where there are mounting calls for a ban on seal products.

"I am advised that within each country the use of the (club) was a dominant issue and continues to be viewed in an extremely negative manner," Williams said in a statement.

Elsewhere, details emerged of two separate sealing accidents Monday in which two hunting ships were lost. The first incident off northeastern Newfoundland required a military helicopter rescue of five men from an ice floe after their ship caught fire and burned to the waterline, officials said.

Later, off the west coast, six men managed to jump from their disabled fishing ship into a motorboat before the larger vessel smashed into the coastal rocks, officials said.

No injuries were reported in either accident.

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