Who can resist this cute face? And yet, these adorable baby seals are being bludgeoned to death in the most barbaric way possible – and believe it or not, it’s legal. We’ll tell you how it’s done and it will make you sick to your stomach. That’s why it’s important for every voice to be heard – call on Canada to stop seal culling now. Read on for how you can play your part to protect our wildlife.
The practice of baby seal slaughter
Brian Davies, founder of Network for Animals, began campaigning to end the slaughter of baby seals in Canada four decades ago. By 1983, the European Union prohibited imports of the skins of newborn harp seals (whitecoats). By 1987, after threats to boycott of Canadian seafood, the Canadian government banned the killing of whitecoats, saving 2.5 million seals!
This brief respite for these gentle animals wasn’t to last. In the mid-1990s, the Canadian government invested subsidies into the sealing industry. This meant that the sealers could (legally) kill the pups when they were merely a few days old.
In late 2013, the World Trade Organization upheld a European Union ban on the imports of all seal products.
Where do we stand today?
Current annual quotas allow approximately 350,000 babies to be brutally dragged with boathooks across the ice, dying babies are left in stockpiles to suffocate in their own blood, some shot and left to suffer in utter agony, and some animals even skinned alive, to sell the fur to the fashion industry. Is our wildlife meant to be worn as garments with pride?
Official government kill reports show that 97 percent of the slaughtered animals over the past five years have been less than three months old. Imagine torturing defenceless baby animals when they’re yet to eat their first solid meal or taken their first swim – it’s beyond barbaric.
Today, the Canadian seal hunt has become the largest slaughter of marine mammals on earth.
No respite for baby seals
This level of slaughter is a serious threat to the species as a whole. The last time Canada went on this merry killing spree, in the 1950s and ’60s, nearly two thirds of the harp seal population was wiped out. Now the ice-breeding babies face another survival threat – global warming.
In 2002, the Canadian government estimated 75% of the pups born in the Gulf of St. Lawrence died because of the lack of ice. In 2007, scientists estimated close to 100% mortality among the more than 260,000 seal pups in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence. The trigger-happy government still agreed on a cull quota of 270,000.
International polling shows the majority of Canadians, Americans and Europeans surveyed are against the commercial hunt. While the US and Mexico have banned the import of seal products, why won’t Canada follow suit? Profiting from wildlife doesn’t pay off, it only leaves us poorer in the long run.
How You Can Help our precious wildlife