NEWS
12/17/2013 10:13 EST | Updated 02/16/2014 05:59 EST

Pamela Anderson, Simpsons' Sam Simon offer cash to sealers

Philanthropist Sam Simon, one of the creators of The Simpsons, is offering $1 million in cash to Canadian sealers so they will retire and end the hunt.

Simon is expected to make the pledge, with Canadian actor and anti-sealing activist Pamela Anderson, on Tuesday afternoon at the St. John's office of the Canadian Sealers Association.

A release from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said the money will go straight to CSA members if the group "facilitates and achieves a long-buzzed-about government buyout of the failing international seal trade."

Simon created The Simpsons — which coincidentally debuted 24 years ago on Tuesday — with cartoonist Matt Groening and veteran Hollywood producer James L. Brooks. 

Since disclosing last year he has terminal cancer, Simon has been committed to spending his fortune on causes he supports, particularly finding homes for abandoned dogs.

Incentive to end seal hunt

In an interview with CBC News, Anderson said the offer should be taken seriously.

"A million dollars is a lot of money in Newfoundland, and it could go to something really terrific," she said.

"This is just a bonus for fishermen. It's a clever way and a great way to help the community."

Anderson said the time is right to end the hunt, and such a move will protect what she called diminishing seal stocks.

But when told that seal populations have actually increased in recent years, with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans pegging the harp seal population alone at 7.3 million animals, Anderson said her view stands.

"I don't really know what to say about that. That's not what I am aware of," she said.

"I still don't think that the seal is appropriate. I think it's barbaric. There's no market for it."

In a statement released by PETA, Simon said he wants the cash to go straight to sealers themselves.

"Canadian politicians remain too timid to initiate a buyout for fear of upsetting swing voters in eastern Canada and because they don't seem to care about individual sealers," Simon said in the statement.

"That's why I'm appealing to you as a trade leader to break the ice and prompt a buyout like those that helped asbestos miners, tobacco farmers, and workers in other collapsed industries."

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