NEW YORK – Anna Nicole Smith (search) has canceled a trip to Newfoundland to protest the killing of seals because of concerns about safety.
The model and reality TV star had been scheduled to join a protest by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in the Canadian province. When the animal rights group learned that her security could not be guaranteed, they advised her to cancel.
"We felt it just wasn't safe to put her in that position," PETA (search) spokesman Michael McGraw told The Associated Press Friday. "Working with activists who are protesting on the ice floe last week and again this week, they found that the seal hunters became physically violent and actually attacked many of the protesters on the ice."
Instead, Smith issued a statement on www.furisdead.com, a PETA Web site.
"The sealing industry says that it is killing more seals because of an increase in demand for fur — all fur," says Smith. "Anyone who buys a mink or fox fur coat or a jacket trimmed in fur bears responsibility for creating an environment of demand for the furs of these baby seals."
Smith also urged people to contact Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin (search) to protest the country's hunting of seals. Every spring, seals are hunted by thousands of sealers armed with clubs, rifles and spears off eastern Canada.
Canada defends the practice, saying the hunt brings $16.5 million in badly needed income to coastal communities. Pelts are sold primarily to Norway, Denmark and China; the United States bans imports of seal products.
Last week, protesters and sealers clashed off the coast of Prince Edward Island where the sealers fired warning shots into the air.
Smith also appears in PETA's recent anti-fur ad campaign, posing as Marilyn Monroe with the tag line, "Gentlemen prefer fur-free blondes."