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Updated: Thu, 19 Dec 2013 09:41:43 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Seal protests increase sales, says St. John's fur seller



Racks of coats made of seal and other fur are ready for sale at Always in Vogue in St. John's. CBC

Racks of coats made of seal and other fur are ready for sale at Always in Vogue in St. John's. CBC

The owner of a St. John's store that sells seal fur products says this week's visit by celebrity anti-sealing activists Pamela Anderson and Sam Simon has created more demand for seal skin and fur fashions.  

Bernie Halloran, who owns Always in Vogue, said seal products such as coats, boots and handbags fly off his stores racks and shelves whenever high-profile anti-seal hunt protests happen. 

"The last time we did it was with, was when our premier at the time Danny Williams took on Paul McCartney and Heather Mills," said Halloran. 

The former Beatle and his then wife debated the seal hunt with Williams on the U.S. television network CNN in 2006, during a visit by the couple to Canada to protest the hunt. 

"And we had the biggest week of sales that we had in the history of Always in Vogue, because of the anger Newfoundlanders and Labradorians feel when they are attacked by celebrities."

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Anderson, a Canadian-born actor, and philanthropist Simon, co-creator of The Simpsons, were in St. John's on Tuesday in a visit organized by People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). 

The pair offered $1 million in cash to Canadian sealers so they could retire and stop hunting seals. 

Anderson and Simon were heckled by a crowd of sealers and their supporters outside the building, which houses the Canadian Sealers Association's office. 

Halloran said despite Anderson's assertion that the seal industry is dying, he sees a bright future for seal products, with China as a huge potential market. 

"It's a great product," said Halloran. 

"It's been bullied for 30 or 40 years, and it's about time it got its rightful place." 

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