The Canadian seal hunt is the largest slaughter of marine mammals on the planet.
Take a look at these horrifying pictures …
The annual commercial hunt is facing harsh criticism from animal lovers all around the world because of its cruelty.
It’s held on the ice floes off Canada’s East Coast in both the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the “Front” — which is located northeast of Newfoundland. The hunt is an off-season activity participated by fishers who are mostly from Newfoundland.
Sadly, harp seals are the main target of the killing spree and most of the victims are pups under the age of three months.
The hunt is governed by the Canadian Marine Mammal Regulations that state sealers may kill seals with wooden clubs, hakapiks (large ice-pick-like clubs), and guns.
Guns are more commonly used in the “Front” while wooden clubs and hakapiks are mostly used in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
The main sealskin processing plant in Canada deducts $2 from the price they pay for seal skins for each bullet hole they find, so sealers try to keep their shots to a minimum. They shoot at seals from moving boats, often only wounding the pups and causing the injured animals to experience an agonizing death. Many simply slip beneath the water’s surface to die slowly.
In 2007 a Canadian veterinary expert named Dr. Mary Richardson studied the hunt and concluded that it was inherently inhumane because of the environment in which it operates and the speed at which the killing is conducted.
Another report in 2007 which was conducted by an international team of experts noted a general failure by sealers to comply with the set regulations — and a failure by authorities to enforce them.
There are easy ways the Canadian government could shut down the hunt, such as a federal buyout or expanding marine ecotourism in the area. In the Magdalen Islands, one of Canada’s sealing areas, seal watching now brings in more money to local communities than seal hunting does. The Canadian government also uses taxpayer money to contribute towards the seal hunt with over $20 million in subsidies provided to the sealing industry between 1995 – 2001.
At Karmagawa and SaveTheReef we are so heartbroken that this goes on. In the past five years alone, more than one million seals have been slaughtered. These levels are among the highest seen in Canada in half a century. We must do better! No animals deserve to be shot and clubbed in the head so viciously and in such large numbers. We’re using our channels to let the world know that this is happening.
Would you like to do something to help? Then please sign this petition to protect the baby seals!
Also … please spread our information so that your friends and family are aware, as well.
Have them watch this powerful video …
The director of this video, Amir Zakeri, created a masterclass for anyone in the Karmagawa and SaveTheReef community who would like to tell visual stories about the causes they care about. If you’re interested, here’s 50% off.
What do you think about this horrible annual hunt that happens every year in Canada? Leave a comment below.
(Cover image: Vladimir Melnik/Shutterstock)