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CNN Larry King Live
Interview With Paul McCartney, Heather Mills McCartney
Aired March 03, 2006 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Sir Paul McCartney and his wife Heather Mills McCartney making international headlines with their controversial mission to stop something they call needless brutality that others say they have to do to live; heated debate with Sir Paul and Heather Mills McCartney and more next on LARRY KING LIVE.
Good evening. Sir Paul and Lady Heather are calling on the newly-elected Canadian prime minister to end the annual commercial hunt for seal skins forever. They headed out to the ice flows in the Gulf of St. Lawrence on Thursday and Friday, their visit organized by the Humane Society of the United States.
The U.S. moved to ban the import of seal products in 1972 and the European Union instituted a partial ban in 1983. But, by the mid- 1990s new markets opened up in China and Russia reviving the sealing industry. One word of caution as we begin our broadcast, because of the subject matter tonight, some of the video we'll show is very disturbing. And, the premier of Newfoundland, Danny Williams, will join us later to give the government's position.
Paul, why did you get -- why are you involved in this?
SIR PAUL MCCARTNEY, PROTESTING SEAL HUNT: Larry this is something that's been going on. I've been seeing pictures of this for probably about 40 years now and I'm basically involved because I think it's a cruel practice that should be ended.
KING: And you, Heather?
HEATHER MILLS MCCARTNEY: I got involved once I got involved in the whole fur issue and was shocked to see that these seals are being clubbed to death so inhumanely and brutally and they say that it's regulated and watched. And, of course it is for the six hours while the sealers know they're being watched. They're going to behave a bit better.
But the Humane Society U.S. have hours and hours and hours of proof of inhumane methods of killing and I just wanted to come -- I was asked to come out here and, of course, I had to. I couldn't actually sit and watch the slaughter that's going to go on in the next two weeks with pups under the age of one month old.
You know they say "Well, we don't kill white baby seals," you know, but they lose their coats after 12 days. That's like saying a baby is no longer a baby once it's a month old, you know. It's barbaric, sorry archaic and really brutal.
KING: What have you seen in person, Paul?
P. MCCARTNEY: We went out to the ice flows yesterday and we were helicoptered out there to see the seal pups and their mums on the ice, so we saw them firsthand and it's a fantastic spectacle. It's a beautiful wildlife spectacle and it's the kind of thing that people should just respect and love. It was a very beautiful sight.
And so, we went out and saw firsthand this, this very beautiful seal population and the babies themselves with their mothers. But it was -- it was terrifying to think that in probably about three weeks time sealers will arrive and with clubs and with pick axes and with guns will kill a huge amount of these baby seals.
KING: Heather, who are the sealers?
H. MCCARTNEY: Well, you said earlier in your introduction that, you know, people have to survive on this and we really researched this because, you know, we did not want to come out here and start, you know, cuddling up to seal pups and saying "It's terrible that you do this" if people are totally surviving on this.
But it's just not a fact, you know. It's less than five percent of their annual wage. There are many other ways of earning it, you know. People once had Apartheid that was traditional, you know, slavery, putting children up chimneys. It's totally inhumane and they could have ecotourism here.
The federal government used to make subsidies of $20 million. You know it adds up to about $5 million income a year. America has boycotted. People have boycotted all over red lobster and many other chains and they're losing $139 million in snow crab sales anyway. So, there's just no economic viability on why this is going on. There's just absolutely no reason whatsoever.
P. MCCARTNEY: And, if the seal hunt was to be stopped that boycott would be lifted immediately. The only reason it's in place is because of the seal hunt. One of the very first things, Larry, we saw when we came here because, as Heather said, we came with an open mind and we understand, you know, the economic issue and sympathize greatly with that.
But one of the first things we saw was a quote in the newspaper from one of the fishermen themselves who are the sealers. They are off season fishermen. And, this was a 70-year-old gentleman who said, "Oh, we don't want these do-gooders to come out here cuddling up to the seals, saying they're beautiful."
He said, "They are beautiful." He said, "And then the next thing they'll do is they'll say that the seal hunt is cruel." He said "And it is cruel." So, by this own man's admission he said "But we've been doing it 500 years." We believe that 500 years is no justification for cruelty.
H. MCCARTNEY: And these are commercial fishermen. We haven't got any issues or arguments with, you know, the Aboriginal people using it for subsistence and everything. It's the commercial fishermen who do this in the off season and earn between $1,200 and $1,500 a year and, you know...
KING: That's all?
H. MCCARTNEY: You know, they can have -- yes, they can have a licensed retirement, what do you call it?
P. MCCARTNEY: Program.
H. MCCARTNEY: Program and the federal government could pay that to them and stop this seal hunt completely and then you wouldn't have everybody boycotting Canada's seafood. You know the mass majority and that's why Paul is showing we support Canada completely, obviously huge innovators with the Mine Ban Treaty, incredible, innovative people.
Most of them don't want to see the seal hunt go ahead, you know. It's a tiny majority of people that are into tradition and sticking to their ways. We even spoke to Phil Jenkins from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans on the plane. We got everybody coming up to us and we're open to speak to everybody.
And even he had to admit at the end of the day its' not doing the Department of Fisheries and Oceans any good because they're losing sales. They're losing export sales for a tiny, tiny, cruel slaughtering of these poor little pups that don't even get a chance to swim before they're clubbed to death or even have their first solid meal.
KING: Paul, why do they have to be clubbed? Can't they be killed in a humane fashion?
P. MCCARTNEY: Well, they tell you that is a humane fashion. This is the traditional, one of the traditional methods. There is a clubbing that is one of the main things that happens here in Newfoundland where we were yesterday. And then there is kind of like a ice pick that is the other method and then there is shooting.
We believe that's brutal. I mean I think the thing is anyone who's ever seen footage of this, as a lot of us have over the past 40 years. I don't think anyone's ever looked at that footage and said that looks humane. I can't think of one person you could actually get to look at that footage.
And so, the kind of thing we're hoping for because as we do say we appreciate the economic angle even though it isn't the main economics for the fishermen but the kind of thing that we are hoping that the Canadian government and Steve Harper might be able to consider doing and we would ask him to consider doing this is what happened with whale hunting.
There was a point in the '70s when whale hunting was given up. The whale hunters then had their licenses bought back. They were compensated and then whale watching took its place. And now whale watching is one of Canada's most successful industries.
And we feel that, you know, the success of films like "March of the Penguins," this incredible wildlife spectacle instead of it just being an absolute brutal spectacle that really doesn't do any good for Canada's great reputation could be turned round.
You could lose the boycott which would be very helpful to the economics of the fishermen. You could change the whole thing round into an eco-tourist affair that, like the whales with the fishermen getting compensation, could end up in a win-win situation for everyone, including the seals.
KING: Let me get a break in.
H. MCCARTNEY: But it's down to -- it's down to the federal government.
KING: I'll get a break. Hold it. Hold it. We'll be right back, Heather. I got to get a break. You've hosted this show. You know we have to get breaks.
And, by the way, the premier of Newfoundland will be joining us at the bottom of the hour. We'll be right back with Sir Paul McCartney and Lady Heather Mills McCartney. They're in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada. We'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
P. MCCARTNEY: In about three weeks time these baby seals are due to be clubbed to death or shot in what's known as the seal hunt. For many years, people have been trying to have this brutal practice stopped but we are out here to see if we can lend our voice to this campaign and maybe get it stopped once and for all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
H. MCCARTNEY: Sadly, you won't be able to stop these beautiful baby seals around us being bludgeoned to death in the next few weeks but hopefully we could if we all join together and put pressure on the Canadian government to do what is just humane and stop this seal hunt, hopefully this would be the last seal hunt.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back with the McCartneys. Heather, you were going to say something before you were so rudely interrupted.
H. MCCARTNEY: Well, I was just going to -- I was going to go back to your question of why are they clubbed to death? The reason they're clubbed to death, so people really understand this, is because it's less damage to the skins. The reason they're killed, you know, between the ages of 12 and 24 to 30 days is because their skin is fresh. It's unmarked and it's going to be used for the fashion industry for seal skins. You know when they kill them later on, always generally under the age of one year because then their skin gets too marked, they shoot them from moving boats and most of the time they're not great shots so they lie there, you know, in agony for, you know, Humane Society U.S. filmed a young pup dying for an hour and a half before it choked on its own blood.
So, the fashion industry don't want a marked skin and that is why they don't put the second bullet hole in because every second bullet hole reduces the pelt or the skin by $2.
So, when you imagine within five days 80 percent of these 250,000 to 300,000 seals are clubbed and hacky-picked (ph) as in a hook and slain around to death and that is not humane, you know. Humane means kind and, you know, with compassion. It doesn't mean that at all.
For a minimal off season income that the federal government could make a hugely clever economical decision to actually, you know, put the money to the licensed retirement program for the fishermen.
Most of the hunters are actually desperate to retire and 15,000 to 25,000 of them have licenses and 4,000 of them still seal every year and the rest of the, you know, most of them find it very difficult to do. And they would love to have, you know, the licensed retirement program put in place.
P. MCCARTNEY: Like the whale watching.
H. MCCARTNEY: Like the whale watching, you know. It would be the best move Canada could do. When they with the innovators and the Mine Ban Treaty everybody said it's impossible. It will never happen. And look at what's happened, 151 countries no longer use those inhumane weapons of war that maim and kill men, women and children. So, Canada can be leaders, you know.
KING: Paul, are seal skins popular? I mean I hear of mink and I hear of furs but I don't hear much about seal skins.
P. MCCARTNEY: Yes, I don't think it's really popular and I don't think it's a great item in the fashion industry but it is used and but I don't think it's really very popular. I don't think it would be missed sorely, you know. I think for the reasons that we are putting forward, we're asking the Canadian people and the Canadian Prime Minister Mr. Harper to consider.
We think this is something that could be done. It's time it was done. I don't think there is a huge value placed on seal skin. I think there could be more value placed on the attractive tourist industry that Canada could create by turning this whole thing around and banning the hunt.
KING: How far do you want to go, Paul? Do you want to ban seal skin sales? Do you want to stop seal skins in any products? Do you want to see the end of seal skins as wearable items?
P. MCCARTNEY: Yes, the thing is, Larry that that is what I think would be a good idea. I think, as Heather said, these seal skins are only valuable while the pups are young, so you are talking about taking the lives and the skins of young baby seals that actually haven't even had a swim yet.
They're totally reliant on their mothers. They can't escape the sealers and it really is -- we've heard people who have been and witnessed the hunt and I'm sure you will be showing some pictures...
KING: Yes, I'm sure.
P. MCCARTNEY: ...where the ice, which we saw yesterday in its pristine state, where the minute that seal hunt is on the whole place turns red. It's a bloody mess and I don't think there's a reason in the 21st Century to do that.
And so what we're doing is trying to take into consideration the other sides of the argument that are being presented to us and trying to offer some long-term solution for the fishermen.
In actual fact from what we hear in independent polls of the Canadian people when they're asked a straight question "Do you want the seal hunt to continue or don't you," they say no.
KING: By the way...
H. MCCARTNEY: And, if you go onto www.protectseals.org you can see exactly what goes on and click on to say if you support the ban of this seal hunt, so protectseals.org and any help there donation wise can really help push this forward.
You know once the federal government, if they you know open up their eyes, put a ban on this then, you know, we are just trying to be mediators. We're not coming here to dictate things. It's just -- we'd rather be at home watching the telly with our little baby, you know. We don't need to come over here and stand on the ice for five hours in minus 20 degrees with the wind chill factor even worse.
You know we don't need to do this. We're not going round dictating so we don't make money from this. We don't make anything from this except we're totally devastated to watch these images. And, I couldn't enjoy one second on the ice yesterday because I just knew what's going to come in the next few weeks, you know, and that's the reality of it.
KING: By the way I need to...
H. MCCARTNEY: We can either spend our lives just sitting being quiet like so many people do being Mrs. Switzerland or we could actually speak out and on the behalf of these animals with no voices and trying to come up with solutions.
KING: By the way, I want to -- hold on one second. We need to warn people that they are seeing videos today they may find disturbing. We need to mention that the video of the seal hunts used today was provided by the Humane Society.
We'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
P. MCCARTNEY: You know people have been trying to discuss this seal hunt for many, many years and the answer has just been that it's happened for 500 years. It's tradition and therefore it should continue. But we're hoping now that by bringing this amount of attention to what is actually an international problem, not just a Canadian problem, that we will actually be able to put an end to this brutal practice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
P. MCCARTNEY: This is a harp seal pup here and unless something is done about it he's going to be clubbed to death in the next few weeks. The fishermen will tell you that it's because they eat the cod but that's not true. It's the over fishing that's led to the demise of the cod.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back with Sir Paul McCartney and Lady Heather Mills McCartney. Have you met with the prime minister Paul?
P. MCCARTNEY: No, we haven't, no.
KING: Have you asked for a meeting?
H. MCCARTNEY: We rung him four times today and every day.
P. MCCARTNEY: Yes, we rang him actually today but unfortunately he was in a meeting. I'm sure that's true. But we rang him actually just before we came on and we said, you know, "We are just shortly going to be doing the Larry King show and we'd like to offer you the courtesy of us hearing your opinion on this" because no one quite seems to know how he stands, where he stands on this. So, you know we would -- we would like to...
H. MCCARTNEY: We've heard that he's a very compassionate man and that he will, you know, find the right solution, you know, be behind this. You know, obviously he cares about what the voters think, what the people think, what he thinks individually and supporting the sealers at the same time. So we, we just think that this is an ideal opportunity for it to happen now and his second name is Harper and these are harp seals, you know. What more can you ask?
KING: Paul, your daughter Stella, a famous designer, does not use animal products right?
P. MCCARTNEY: That is right, yes, and that's pretty difficult in an industry like the fashion industry where fur is traditionally used but she has made a stance from the word go and she doesn't use fur or leather in any of her collections. And, actually these boots Heather has on which look...
H. MCCARTNEY: These boots they look like leather that I've got on and they're not.
KING: What are they?
H. MCCARTNEY: They're just a plastic.
P. MCCARTNEY: They're fake leather.
H. MCCARTNEY: They're just a fake leather.
P. MCCARTNEY: These boots are made for walking, Larry, and one of these days you know what's going to happen.
KING: You ought to record that.
H. MCCARTNEY: I'll walk right over you.
KING: Are you going to do -- by the way, oh I am told that the Prime Minister Mr. Harper, has sent Mr. Williams, who will appear in a couple of minutes, to be his emissary tonight, so in a sense he's speaking for the prime minister. That would be the premier of Newfoundland.
H. MCCARTNEY: Great. We'll look forward to hearing.
KING: So, we're told that that he has asked him to come to appear and he'll be with us in a couple minutes.
Let's just take those few minutes, Paul. Are you going to tour again?
P. MCCARTNEY: Oh, yes. I'm always going to tour again, you know. It's in my blood. It's what I do. I had a very nice tour last year in America and it was great. I love the American audiences. We played here in Canada. I love the Canadian audiences. So, yes, I'm going to tour again.
At the moment, though, you know, we're over here and this is an off period for me so it gives me a chance to come over here and study this issue and try and do something to end this 500-year slaughter.
KING: Are you by nature an activist?
P. MCCARTNEY: You know the thing is, Larry, I'm a grown up and I have an opinion like anybody else, you know, and if after 40 years you've been seeing the kind of footage that you're going to show your viewers, you either sit by quietly and do nothing about it and most of the time say, gosh that's terrible, or if you get an invitation like Heather and I had this time to come out here and to witness the event, you finally feel that something has to be done.
So, yes that makes me an activist. I do like to see -- I do like to try and do anything I can to prevent cruelty, particularly in animals because they don't have a voice and this is one of the things being an international celebrity, this is one of the advantages of it.
P. MCCARTNEY: You know there are some disadvantages but the advantages you can get time on a show like yours and discuss these issues and hopefully people make up their own minds. We want to try and present this to them in a fair way.
KING: I'm going to get a break and when we come back, Danny Williams, the Newfoundland and Labrador Premier, will join us. He will discuss the other side of this issue and we'll get comments from both Paul McCartney, Lady Heather McCartney and Danny Williams. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
P. MCCARTNEY: To see these beautiful animals and particularly the baby seals helpless and, as Heather said, they are helpless. They haven't even had their swim yet so they can't get away, to see them really brings it home that this is a protest that's been going on for many, many years now and that all the facts lead to only one conclusion that it's time it was stopped.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
H. MCCARTNEY: It just breaks our heart. And I couldn't even get a minute enjoyment out of going out on the ice knowing what is to come. You know, if I had gone out there in a touristic way and thought, oh, aren't they beautiful, aren't they lovely?
But I just can't help but look at them and having a baby ourselves thinking, can you imagine you have a baby and it's just taken away from you in the most horrific manner. It's just unbearable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back. Remaining with us are Paul McCartney and Lady Heather Mills McCartney on this issue of the sea hunt. And we're joined now in St. Johns by Danny Williams, "Newfoundland and Labrador" premier.
And you have heard, Danny, the statements in the past half hour. What's your overall response concerning your government's position to the seal hunt?
DANNY WILLIAMS, PREMIER OF NEWFOUNDLAND & LABRADOR, CANADA, DEFENDS ANNUAL SEAL HUNT: Well, first of all, Larry, let me welcome you to Canada. And I want to thank the McCartneys and yourself for this opportunity to basically state our case.
Just so your own viewers can get some orientation, Newfoundland and Labrador is the most easterly part in North America. And I know from your award-winning shows on September 11th, we had 70 American planes came down here, and 13,000 of the passengers, American passengers found homes in Newfoundland and Labrador for about a week.
So we welcomed them into our homes and welcomed them into our hearts. And some of those homes were homes that were occupied and opened by sealers and their families. So I just want to give you some relativity. And I am sure you already know, but I would like your viewers to know that as well.
I thank you for the opportunity. I may start off by, I think, my concern here is that the McCartneys are not completely informed. I recognize that they're active. I recognize their zeal. I love animals myself. I have two of my three daughters all three daughters actually , but two are animal lovers in the biggest kind of a way.
So for the record, I want to state that certainly myself and my people in Newfoundland and Labrador don't condone inhumane activity towards animals nor do we condone hunting or fishing that would lead to the extinction or endangerment of any species. I want to make that very clear for the record.
Having said that, I want to start off with just a quote from the World Wildlife Federation. I actually had an e-mail from them this morning because they knew that I was going on with you this evening and had this opportunity.
They e-mailed to let us know of their support that they felt that this was not a conservation issue. And I also want to read a quote from a group of veterinarians that were hired by the World Wildlife Fund. They said that the sea harvest is conducted in a humane way.
And the veterinarians concluded that the Canadian harp seal hunt is professional, and highly regulated by comparison with seal hunts in Greenland and the North Atlantic. It has the potential to serve as a model to improve humane practice and reduce seal suffering with the other hunts.
So I think it's important that we state the other side of the case. And I'm very concerned that the McCartneys are not getting all the information.
H. MCCARTNEY: Greenland, they're actually boycotting your products because they're disgusted at how inhumane your seal hunt is.
WILLIAMS: If I had an opportunity, Heather, just for a minute, and I've just got to caution you, I was concerned in your statements where you talk about inhumane and barbaric and archaic.
H. MCCARTNEY: Archaic. Sorry. Let me clear that. I don't mean barbaric. That's just a terminology I used with the land mines. I find it archaic, brutal and cruel.
WILLIAMS: Archaic may have been a fair term in the past. I do appreciate you saying that. Because that was something that concerned me. The other comment that concerned me last night was when you compared this to clubbing young babies, young human babies. And I think that that's actually taking the argument to the extreme.
H. MCCARTNEY: I didn't actually say that last night. I didn't say that last night. I said can you imagine if somebody took your baby away at one month and it was told it was an independent adult, as a lot of the pups are clubbed at one month old. I'll clear that up.
KING: Danny, let me ask you...
WILLIAMS: Actually just let me just clarify, Larry for just one second.
KING: Why must they be clubbed?
WILLIAMS: Well, let me tell you two things. First of all, the comment that was made last night was that, you know, baby bludgeoned to death. And again that's sensational. And that doesn't help the McCartneys' arguments nor does it help our argument.
First of all, the information that hasn't been given is that 90 percent of these seals are killed by bullet. They're not all clubbed. This was a practice in the past. The club that was used years ago was a Norwegian instrument that was deemed to be the most efficient way of killing seals.
When in fact now 90 percent of all seals are actually killed by bullet. It's very effective. It's very efficient and it's very quick.
There's another aspect, which I would like to point out to you, that this seal hunt since 1970 has tripled. It has gone from 2 million seals to 5.8 million seals. That's actually 12 times every person in Newfoundland and Labrador.
If we allow this seal population to completely overpopulate, the inhumane consequences of that is that these seals will starve. We now have a situation...
H. MCCARTNEY: These seals represent the seals of not just Canada, but right up to Greenland. It's completely normal for there to be millions of seals. So let's put it in the right context.
KING: I've got to get in a quick break and then we'll come right back. We'll come right back with Sir Paul McCartney -- let Paul get a word in too -- and Lady Heather McCartney and Danny Williams. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ken McCloud (ph) is ready for the annual Harp seal hunt off Prince Edward Island. He is also prepared for the attention Paul McCartney and the American Humane Society bring to the hunt.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've come to get used to the fact that celebrities are coming up here and the animal rights groups using them to try. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would just like them to see our side of it like it is a viable industry. It has been highly regulated. It is well looked after. Just because they say to shut it down, does that give them the right to shut it down?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Department of Fisheries and Oceans estimates 4,000 to 5,000 people in eastern Canada rely on the hunt and the $20 million it provides to the local economy. So there's a lot riding on the actions of celebrities like McCartney.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, it could mean $10,000 to $20,000 for every member of the crew, which is significant this time of year. It sure helps catch up the winter bills.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: PFO is accusing the American Humane Society of spreading false information about the hunt.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back. And before Danny Williams speaks again, Paul, do you want to say something?
P. MCCARTNEY: Yes, I'd like to take Danny's point that -- what happened in the 50s and 60s was, there was an over culling of the seal population. And they dropped to a dangerously low level. Where then the government had to step in and actually stop it happening in order to maintain the population.
What is happening now is over the last three years, that level of killing is happening again. And so even though at this moment in time there may be enough seals, the population could drop in the same way as it did in the 50s and 60s. And this is what we feel could be dangerous.
WILLIAMS: Paul, I can assure you that, you know, I am in possession of all the facts on this. There are all about there percent, and that is all of the seals that have actually been taken. And what I had the opportunity...
H. MCCARTNEY: Your department actually assured us that the cod levels wouldn't go down the year before they have to stop the fishing because the cod levels -- you're the same department that showed the cod levels were fine.
WILLIAMS: What I was about to...
KING: All right. Let Danny finish and then Paul. Danny?
WILLIAMS: What I was about to say, Paul, is that what's actually happening on the ground in Newfoundland and Labrador is we're now finding that some of these starving seals are actually going into fresh water rivers in order to feed. That's actually happening. And another misconception which was corrected for you last night...
H. MCCARTNEY: Because you're overfishing. Because you're overfishing.
WILLIAMS: ...on the plane last night on the way to Prince Edward Island that you were on the misunderstanding that this species was in danger. But an official from DFO indicated to you that this species was actually strengthening significantly and now the herd has grown to three times the quantity in the 70s. So the species...
P. MCCARTNEY: Yes, well, now that's true, Danny. That is true at this moment, as I say. But this is the kind of thing that happened -- that people were saying before the 50s and the 60s, and then they were -- they reached dangerously low levels, which then did lead to the underpopulation. And you were in serious danger then.
And you now are killing the seals at the same levels. The last three years, you've been killing the seals at the same levels as happening in the 50s and 60s. So there is this possibility.
Now, also this gentleman you mentioned that we did meet on the plane. He came up and said can I put our side of the argument? We said, yes, of course you can. We're not just coming here just to tell the Canadians what to do. We're interested in a debate. We want to find out for ourselves.
He said -- we said, well, the first thing we're hearing, and we've heard it from a lot of people, I heard it from a local MP, is that the real reason why you need to keep the seal population down is because they are depleting the cod stock.
Now, the man from the DFO himself said that is not true. And so it isn't true. In fact the seal -- the harp seals themselves kill a lot of the cod predators. And the only single reason that the cods have been depleted so much is human overfishing.
WILLIAMS: Paul, you haven't heard me say that that's the reason. There is some evidence that could be part of the reason. But that's not why the seal hunt takes place.
KING: Well, what do you make of the argument that most of them are shot, Heather?
H. MCCARTNEY: Well, it's just not true. It's complete and absolute rubbish. It's just not true. Most of them are shot and clubbed in a hacky pick thing, which is a tall, long hook and then they hit them once with it and drag them along the ground. And they only use the one bullet. Again, because it's used for fur. It's not used for any other thing.
P. MCCARTNEY: There are two main hunts here too. Where we went out yesterday, that's for the young seals. That is where most of the clubbing takes place. And I think what Danny's talking about, there's another seal hunt that happens from boats. And that is at the front. And I think that is probably where most of the shooting occurs.
But the point is, you know, however it's done, the thing is, I defy you to show any reasonable-minded person this footage and get them to say, you know, that looks humane to me.
KING: We'll take a break and come back, and I'll ask Danny to justify as stated by Heather. Don't go away.
KING: Danny, two questions. One, what do the Canadian people think of this? And two, what about this point of eco-tourism that you could actually forget all this and increase your tourism ten-fold?
WILLIAMS: Larry, let me tell you a couple of things. First of all, Heather is incorrect. There are 90 percent of these animals that are basically killed by firearms. So I had to set the record straight because I live here and I actually know.
As well, you know, there's an unfair comparison that if you go into a beef slaughter house or a pork slaughter house or a chicken slaughter house and you put white sheets down on the floor, well then you're going to see blood. And that's not nice and that's not pleasant.
But if you take the McCartneys' arguments to the extreme that they're willing to go, there will be no beef slaughter, there will be no pork slaughter, there will be no chicken slaughter, there will be no fish in restaurants, there will be no eggs, there will be no milk for children in school.
H. MCCARTNEY: That's rubbish. We're not arguing that.
WILLIAMS: That is the extent. That is the extent of the argument.
H. MCCARTNEY: Try not to diverse it. It's rubbish. People eat meat. People eat fish. People don't eat the seals, and they use it for fashion.
KING: All right. Heather let him finish.
H. MCCARTNEY: It's not relevant.
WILLIAMS: The other thing that's very relevant here, Larry, is that -- and I don't attribute this to the McCartneys, but this is where I think this is where they're being used. These organizations, the IFAW, Green Peace, PETA raise significant amounts of money. There are hundreds of millions of dollars that are being raised by these organizations.
And let me tell you the FBI right now have a file opened in their terrorism division investigating organizations like this, including the PETA organization, from a terrorism perspective.
So there are some huge issues here that if we had a couple of hours to go into, I would love to deal with. But what I would like to do...
H. MCCARTNEY: Why are you going off on a tangent? Why are you not sticking to the seal hunt, the fact that it's used for fashion, the fact that they are inhumanely killed and hours and hours and years and years of footage to prove it.
Why don't you stick to the subject? You're such a politician. You keep going off on irrelevant things like beef that people eat, fish that people eat. People don't eat seals.
WILLIAMS: This is about propaganda. This is about using superstars like your husband. I invite you to come to Newfoundland and Labrador. I will provide you with information. I will provide you with documentaries that will indicate that people from the IFAW who witness this hunt and said there was nothing wrong with it, were fired by the IFAW.
I want you to come to Newfoundland and Labrador. I want you to know the truth and the facts. And I'm certain that you will partner with us and move this forward because I think we can convince you that this is a very humane undertaking.
P. MCCARTNEY: Well, we're here, Danny. You don't need to invite us. Thanks for the invitation, but we're here. We're actually in the studio here. We are in Newfoundland. And we saw the seals yesterday.
And the point is, you know, what we're making -- the point we're making here is that this is inhumane. No matter how much you say it is humane, it isn't. This is a small percentage of the fishermen's income. No matter how much you say it isn't.
This is nothing to do with the depletion of the cod stocks. That's due to human overfishing. And there are plenty of ideas that the Canadian people might be very interested in, in the same way as whale watching has become a huge industry, which used to be whale hunting.
It now -- and the point about this is, in the international arena, Canada is known as a great country, a great people. And this creates a stain on the character of the Canadian people internationally.
H. MCCARTNEY: Why are you so against the seal hunt being stopped? Why do you not want to give the sealers an alternate income and find a solution here so that the federal government, yourselves and the charities can work together to make sure -- the only people that will be harmed in a very small income way -- but still that's the only justification here, if there are finances taken from the sealers.
There's no other justification on this. Why don't you want that to happen? Why don't you want to have peace talks? Why do you want to keep going to war and doing this to the animals?
WILLIAMS: Heather, first of all, Paul, you're in Prince Edward Island now. And I'm in Newfoundland and Labrador. I'm inviting you to come to my province to see that. We are supported by the World Wildlife Fund, a very reputable organization. This is supported by the United Nations and the International Society for Conservation. These are worldwide policy speakers who speak on behalf of the international community. They see nothing wrong with it. And I just want to make your audience aware...
H. MCCARTNEY: And you don't pay anybody in any of those organizations to oversee...
WILLIAMS: ...And I am really sorry that the McCartneys are being used.
KING: I've got to get a break in. We'll be back with some remaining moments.
H. MCCARTNEY: We're not being used.
KING: Don't go away.
KING: Danny Williams, premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, Heather did ask a good question, why not end it and look for alternative ways? Why not end it?
WILLIAMS: Well, you have to end it on the basis that there's something wrong here. But this is about striking a balance in the ecosystem. And, you know, this is being done properly. It's being done humanely. It is a proper undertaking.
The product that comes from seal is not only fur, it's meat. It provides shelter. It provides fuel. It also provides omega-3 oils, which are used for heart problems, arthritis problems, menstrual problems, liver problems. So there's a worthwhile product.
But, Larry, if I could just add one point. And I would like to pick up on something that Paul said. He's talked about the cod and the endangered species. I would welcome Paul and Heather to come and take up the cause for the fact that our very rich cod stocks and ground fish stocks have been virtually extinguished by overfishing by foreigners from the European community.
I plead with them to take up that cause and see if we can restore those stocks that will create employment for the people that live in my province.
P. MCCARTNEY: OK, Danny. But the thing is, one cause at a time. We're here because in three weeks time, the baby seal pups that we saw and that the viewers of this program have seen are due to be clubbed to death or shot, whichever way you want it. Their lives are due to end.
And in this day and age, in the 21st century, there's got to be an alternative. People look at those pictures, people all over the world look at those pictures, right now, and you will not find one person unless it's you, who says, you know what, that looks good to me. That looks OK. Everything's hunky-dory. The point is, it isn't hunky-dory.
It's disgraceful. And the Canadian people have been polled, and when they've been asked in a poll that's not loaded with all sorts of what-if questions, they are asked, do you know about the seal hunt, do you want it to continue, a majority of the Canadian people say they don't want it to continue.
So we're trying to look at all the sides of the argument, and we're just trying to offer you, Stephen Harper, and the Canadian people a possible way out of this mess.
As I said before, you've got a boycott that's costing you millions at the moment on the Red Lobster front. And these are the kind of things that would end if the seal hunt ended. It's a win-win situation, Danny. Go for it.
WILLIAMS: Paul, I've said to you, you also have to look, there are 6 million white tail deer that are being killed in America. There are 200 million cows that are being slaughtered...
P. MCCARTNEY: Yes, but you're getting off the issue.
H. MCCARTNEY: You keep going off it.
P. MCCARTNEY: We're here to talk about the seal hunt.
WILLIAMS: There are 2 billion chickens that are being slaughtered. Why is the fuzzy seal photo-op the important one? Why aren't you down in a slaughter house where cows are being killed or calves are being killed or lambs are being killed or chickens are being killed?
H. MCCARTNEY: Think about it. OK. Let's forget that you don't care about the humanity.
WILLIAMS: It's quite obvious...
KING: One at a time.
WILLIAMS: It's the easy photo-op where you can get the best picture, so, you know, it's obviously that...
KING: Danny, let her speak.
H. MCCARTNEY: How can your accountants not look at a 129 million lost in snow crab exports to America. One hundred and twenty-nine million lost snow crab exports to America. Sixteen million is the lost...
WILLIAMS: Heather, if you and Paul have your way -- if you and Paul take your argument to where you want to go with it, the Red Lobsters will close, the McDonald's will close, the restaurants will close because they all sell beef or poultry. H. MCCARTNEY: We're not trying to have them to close.
P. MCCARTNEY: We're trying to open them.
H. MCCARTNEY: We're trying to open them, so that they don't boycott.
WILLIAMS: That's exactly where it goes.
P. MCCARTNEY: Danny, the point is...
H. MCCARTNEY: We are trying to stop the boycotts on Canada.
KING: One at a time.
P. MCCARTNEY: Danny, can I just have a word here? The point is, you're getting off the issue. You're talking about all sorts of other issues. And that's very like a politician to do. We're trying to just keep on the issue here.
We mentioned that there is a boycott that is really hurting Canada, a boycott against Canadian seafood. Now instead of wandering off the issue, Heather's saying to you, why, if the seal hunt was finished and good alternative methods like eco-tourism, like licensed buy-back programs, which have been done before in whale watching -- if that were to be considered by the prime minister of Canada, there is a way forward here where even economically the fishermen would be better off.
The boycott would end. The minute the seal hunt ends, that boycott goes away. And so we're looking to help, not confuse the issue.
WILLIAMS: And Paul, if you had all the information, and you were properly informed I would welcome your help. But the problem with the boycott is that it is based on misinformation. And people from the IFAW, independent scientists -- veterinarians have actually looked a this and said that this is humane. The World Wildlife Fund has said it is humane.
These people are not being misled. These people know the facts they are scientists. I encourage you...
H. MCCARTNEY: Are you saying you are not losing millions as a country -- you are not losing millions in export of snow crab? Are you saying that you are not losing millions on people that are boycotting? Is that what you are saying?
KING: I am sorry. We are out of time. We appreciate everybody's participation. We hope the public at large learned more. Our friends in Canada learned more.
And we thank all of our guests, Paul McCartney, Sir Paul McCartney, Lady Heather Mills McCartney and Danny Williams, the premier of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Meanwhile, it is time for "ANDERSON COOPER 360." Good night.
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