Photoshelter Widget

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Harp seal hunt is barbaric

I am absolutely disgusted by the cruelty of Canada’s commercial baby harp seal hunt. As you are aware over the next few weeks, more than a quarter of a million seals will be killed for unnecessary fur products. Nearly all of these seals will be less than three months old. Many will suffer painful and lingering deaths. This is unacceptable cruelty and the UK and Europe’s role in the trade in seal products is allowing this to happen.

I’ve witnessed the inhumane method these hunters are using to kill the seals. Seals were clubbed up to six times before being dragged onto a boat and thrown in a pile with others. The hunter did not check to see if the seal was dead, and certainly did not bleed the seal on the ice as regulations state. I also witnessed a seal manage to escape the hunter, but not until it had already been smashed over the head once. This seal will undoubtedly die a long and painful death as a result of this injury. So I ask you, is this humane?

Why do these seals need to die? Some reports state that there is not an overabundance of seals and they do not need to be culled. IFAW has stated clearly that because of the reduction in sea ice many seals are being born in the water and are drowning. But is this being taken into account when the Canadian government issue their quotas? No. But even if there is an overabundance of seals, why shouldn’t there be?? It’s not like there isn’t enough room for them out there on the frozen wastelands of the Hudson Bay. And this can also mean more food for the Polar Bear, who is also under threat of extinction. The only animal with the right to kill these baby seals is the Polar Bear, and he only does this to survive. Canadian hunters are killing these baby seals for a trophy sport, and for a trade that is totally unnecessary in this day and age. We can manufacture artificial furs that are just as good as the real thing.

It’s also been ludicrously suggested in the past that the seals were responsible for the collapse of cod stocks in the North Atlantic in the 1990s. Just read this:

This is not even an economic necessity for the fisherman because, as stated in an interview with the representative from IFAW, the cost of paying for an icebreaker ship to clear a path for these fishing trawlers could be used instead to compensate the sealers for a loss in trade should the hunt be banned. But the real truth is that this is not the sole income for these people, (It only happens once a year so how could it be?) and they could very easily live without it. I’m sure that if it was worked out, the cost of the hunt probably outweighs the profits.

Please help push for a ban on the trade in seal products in the European Union, and the entire world. A national ban in the UK would help achieve an EU-wide ban. The Governments have the power to stop imports of all sorts of products without the need to introduce new legislation so this would be a relatively quick and easy step to take. We also have the power to stop this by refusing to buy any animal products and even boycotting Canadian products, if possible.

Therefore I urge you to immediately send a message to the UK and EU governments, and also the governments around the world to ban the import of all seal products, to start with, and also any animal fur that is still being sold today.

You can send a message to the UK Minister for Trade, Gareth Thomas MP here

Read more here:

More videos here:

Ian Middleton
Travel writer, photographer and animal lover

Friday, March 14, 2008

I love these, classic old adverts for Tetley Tea featuring the Tetley Tea Folk. They just don't make adverts like these anymore!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Reply to a recent blog on culling bears in Slovenia

I can't figure out if the author of this blog is being sarcastic or serious. I am living in Slovenia now with my girlfriend, and I love bears and am more frustrated with the lack of information or tours available to view bears in the wild (NOT HUNT THEM!). This whole business of so-called culling the bears is completely wrong. Whether or not the government’s estimates as to the amount of bears in Slovenia is accurate or not, this is not the way. There are other ways: relocation, castration of male bears to stop population growth and so on. It's also not possible to count the bear population as it's highly likely that the bears travel between Slovenia and Croatia.

But the worst thing in the world would be to stoop to Russia's level and allow bear hunting tourism to take place here in Slovenia, just to make money and make some stupid tourist feel like a big man for killing a bear!! The bear hunting tourists in Russia are being lead to easy targets and are killing defenceless female bears and leaving their cubs to die.

As for the hunters tasked with the cull in Slovenia, these are the same people who recently hunted a so-called aggressive and dangerous bear for (defending its cubs) and causing the starvation and death of its cubs.

If the government wants to profit from its bears, then it should try organising bear watching tours so people can appreciate the bears and learn more about them, which is something the majority of tourists would like and something that is sorely needed here.

Take a closer look at the photo at the top of this page and ask yourself, do you really want to kill this wonderful creation of nature?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Travel e-book releases by Ian Middleton: Travel Writer and photographer

Ireland and South America travel books now include photos.

As the world speeds full throttle into the technological age, the emergence of the e-book as an accepted form of reading material is becoming ever popular. There is also one other advantage to this, reduced publishing costs. To produce a fully illustrated book with hundreds of full colour photographs is costly to say the least, and also pushes up the retail price. But with Adobe PDF the only increase is in file size. When I first published my books on Ireland and South America, I was disappointed that I could not include the great photographs taken during these journeys.

With the increasing popularity of e-books this has now been made possible. To this end Ian Middleton is pleased to announce the release of To the End of the World and Back (A South American Adventure) with 140 full colour photos, and Hot Footing Around the Emerald Isle with over 100 photos and 18 new articles from further travels around Ireland, including an article about a 280-mile hike for charity from Wexford to Donegal, in aid of asthma research.

To celebrate this I am offering a free ebook with the purchase of any paperback, or two e-books for the price of one when bought directly through the publisher's website.

For more information visit the website:

Ian Middleton: Travel Writer and Photographer