I am absolutely disgusted by the cruelty of Canada’s commercial baby harp seal hunt. As you are aware over the next few weeks, more than a quarter of a million seals will be killed for unnecessary fur products. Nearly all of these seals will be less than three months old. Many will suffer painful and lingering deaths. This is unacceptable cruelty and the UK and Europe’s role in the trade in seal products is allowing this to happen.
Image © Respect for Animals
I’ve witnessed the inhumane method these hunters are using to kill the seals. Seals were clubbed up to six times before being dragged onto a boat and thrown in a pile with others. The hunter did not check to see if the seal was dead, and certainly did not bleed the seal on the ice as regulations state. I also witnessed a seal manage to escape the hunter, but not until it had already been smashed over the head once. This seal will undoubtedly die a long and painful death as a result of this injury. So I ask you, is this humane?
Why do these seals need to die? Some reports state that there is not an overabundance of seals and they do not need to be culled. IFAW has stated clearly that because of the reduction in sea ice many seals are being born in the water and are drowning. But is this being taken into account when the Canadian government issue their quotas? No. But even if there is an overabundance of seals, why shouldn’t there be?? It’s not like there isn’t enough room for them out there on the frozen wastelands of the Hudson Bay. And this can also mean more food for the Polar Bear, who is also under threat of extinction. The only animal with the right to kill these baby seals is the Polar Bear, and he only does this to survive. Canadian hunters are killing these baby seals for a trophy sport, and for a trade that is totally unnecessary in this day and age. We can manufacture artificial furs that are just as good as the real thing.
It’s also been ludicrously suggested in the past that the seals were responsible for the collapse of cod stocks in the North Atlantic in the 1990s. Just read this:
This is not even an economic necessity for the fisherman because, as stated in an interview with the representative from IFAW, the cost of paying for an icebreaker ship to clear a path for these fishing trawlers could be used instead to compensate the sealers for a loss in trade should the hunt be banned. But the real truth is that this is not the sole income for these people, (It only happens once a year so how could it be?) and they could very easily live without it. I’m sure that if it was worked out, the cost of the hunt probably outweighs the profits.
Please help push for a ban on the trade in seal products in the European Union, and the entire world. A national ban in the UK would help achieve an EU-wide ban. The Governments have the power to stop imports of all sorts of products without the need to introduce new legislation so this would be a relatively quick and easy step to take. We also have the power to stop this by refusing to buy any animal products and even boycotting Canadian products, if possible.
Therefore I urge you to immediately send a message to the UK and EU governments, and also the governments around the world to ban the import of all seal products, to start with, and also any animal fur that is still being sold today.
You can send a message to the UK Minister for Trade, Gareth Thomas MP here
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Travel writer, photographer and animal lover