SYRACUSE (WSYR-TV) -
In addition to his studies, and time with his friends, 16-year-old Martin Welych-Flanagan spends a lot of time spreading awareness about the brutal reality surrounding the annual Canadian Seal Hunt.
“I found out they were being hunted and thought how could a government support something so cruel,” said Martin.
Every year hunters kill hundreds of thousands of seals for their pelts to sell but Martin says the market for these skins is small and unprofitable.
When he was just six-years-old he first learned about the hunt and then at age seven started his first petition with help from his classmates at The New School which gathered nearly “1500 signatures.”
“We sent that to Prime Minister Harper,” said Martin.
His campaign, called ‘Save the Seals’, has since raised more than $17,000 and won the teen several achievements for his hard work.
A lot of the money he raises by making and selling crafts that raise awareness.
His honors include an animal activist award, a nationwide ‘Littlest Volunteer Award’ from Disney that came with a $5,000 prize, and most recently the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes.
“I feel really happy about all the good we've done but I realize we have a long way to go,” said Martin, who vows to keep fighting until the seal hunt becomes history.
If you'd like to find out more about Martin's Save the Seals Campaign or donate to help his cause you can connect with him on his Facebook page.
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