Moral Low Ground

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Canada Seal Hunt Witness: “Without a Doubt, the Cruelest Slaughter I Have Ever Seen”

Rebecca Aldworth, executive director of Humane Society International/Canada, recently flew to the frigid ice floes off Canada’s east coast to document and expose the barbarism of that nation’s commercial seal slaughter. Although record low sea ice cover and an imploding seal product market, largely due to a European Union ban, have resulted in an extremely light hunt this year, Aldworth nevertheless says this year’s kill was the cruelest she’s ever seen. In a guest post on Change.org she writes:

What we saw was horrific. Baby seals, some as young as two weeks of age, were shot and wounded and bludgeoned in front of each other. One baby seal, who had been shot and then impaled on a metal hook and dragged onto a boat while still conscious, raised his head and cried out repeatedly from a pile of bloody seal carcasses onto which he’d been thrown. Countless pups were shot in the back, the neck or the jaw and suffered in agony until sealers finally arrived to club them to death.

In the thirteen years I have observed commercial sealing in Canada at close range, this was without a doubt the cruelest slaughter I have ever seen. It is devastating to know that all of this suffering happened just to produce seal fur for fashion items no one needs.

This is a cruel and pointless slaughter.

It’s not a good year to be a seal in Canada. Warming seas caused by climate change have melted the icy habitat that sustains harp seals; the Canadian government estimates that half of all seal pups born on the country’s Atlantic coast this year will die. Despite this sobering statistic, Canadian officials have given sealers permission to kill 468,000 animals this year. If those seals were people, their population would be enough to make them Canada’s 11th largest city.

Thank goodness for the European Union, which in 2009 imposed a ban on seal products. The price of seal fur plummeted after that, and these days most commercial fishermen choose not to kill seals. Aldworth says she saw “fewer sealing boats operating” than she’s ever observed. “In an area where hundreds of sealing vessels normally participate in the slaughter, we spotted only 12,” she wrote. “By the third day of the slaughter, less than 10,000 baby seals had died. Compare that to previous years when over 100,000 died on the first two days of the kill.”

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6 Comments

  1. Shiva Manjunath via FacebookApril 28, 2011 at 6:01 pmReply

    We must be the STUPIDEST species in the planet. Killing everything around us for sport and fun.

  2. Moral Low Ground via FacebookApril 28, 2011 at 7:37 pmReply

    or “fashion.”

  3. Salmane Saadani via FacebookApril 28, 2011 at 10:45 pmReply

    and they say we are evolved!

  4. Rhys ToogoodJuly 5, 2011 at 3:25 amReply

    Firstly there are 9 million seals with the population growing at the rate of 5 percent a year. Each seal consumes a tonne of fish per year, 5 kilos a day, obviously at some point either nature (Nature is very cruel)or man needs to control the seal population. If a cull of seals is conducted it is done out of sight and no use is made of the dead seal. There is nothing wrong with wearing fur, its a dead animal skin like leather, making use of it makes ecological sense.

    Next we are lead to believe that the seal hunt is cruel. There is a whole industry of pseudo animal welfare charities. These milk your compassion for animals to mostly pay their directors large fees. They like to sensationalise cruelty on the ice to get your contribution.

    The facts are that there is no pretty way to kill an animal. We are excluded, prefer not go to a slaughter house and witness lambs are calves being killed. The slaughter of a seal on the ice is more humane than the slaughter of a pig, to quote Jacques Coustou.

    A headless chicken might run around, I have only seen one and it flapped its wings. Its a reflex action. Animals in a slaughter house kick with their rear legs called a running reflex. Dead Seals have a swimming reflex, this is used as propaganda that animal is still alive.

    Its time that Rebecca Aldworth and her ilk got proper jobs, instead of living as parasites off the gullible animal loving public. Instead of misrepresenting facts to obtain contributions.

    • Brett WilkinsJuly 5, 2011 at 8:46 amReplyAuthor

      You’re right. There is no pretty way to kill an animal. So why kill them?

      • Rhys ToogoodJuly 5, 2011 at 1:12 pmReply

        Without a check on the number of seals will exceed the environments ability to support them. At that point disease will be easily spread by coughs and sneezes between emaciated animals living close together. This will cause an epidemic most likely of distemper which will condemn about half the seals to a miserable lingering death. Its quite likely the disease will be spread to other marine mammals such as Polar Bears and Killer Whales.

        In the meantime the fish stocks will have been depleted to the disadvantage of the human population. The EU countries Sweden and Estonia are proposing to kill a few hundred of the 10,000 Seals in the Baltic to preserve fish stocks. There is no outcry about this. Why shouldn’t Canada control its 9 million seal population for the economic benefit of its fishermen?

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