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Canada’s Seal Slaughter Dying Off

Posted by at 6:16 PM | Permalink | Comments (48)


©Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Since 1996, the Canadian government has poured millions of dollars a year into subsidizing the commercial seal slaughter and marketing the fur and flesh of baby harp seals. But all that money isn’t doing any good—the seal industry continues to collapse.

Since the European Union banned the import of seal products in 2010, Canada has fought with it, the World Trade Organization, and anyone else it could think of to have the ban overturned—so far without any luck. Canada tried to go a different route, selling seal meat to China, also without any luck.

After public outcry over the beating and skinning of baby seals drove the price of seal pelts so low that sealers could hardly cover their operating expenses, very few sealers took part in the 2011 slaughter and less than 10 percent of the quota of 400,000 seals were killed.

Then, in December, the slaughter suffered one of its most crushing blows yet. Russia, Canada’s largest remaining market, banned the import of all harp-seal products. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has called seal slaughters a “bloody industry that should have been banned long ago .”

A month later, it became obvious that at least some Canadian officials were getting tired of sticking their heads in the sand, when Member of Parliament Ryan Cleary publicly questioned the slaughter. “Part of our history is also whaling, for example, and the day came when the whaling industry stopped. Now, is that day coming with the seal hunt? It just may be,” he said. “We know that the world appetite is not there for seal meat, but the world appetite for seal products—I don’t know if it’s there. And you know what? I may be shot for talking about this, and for saying this, but it’s a question we all have to ask .”

While pro-slaughter politicos may blast Cleary, they can’t deny the truth in his words. With markets drying up, dwindling numbers of sealers willing to kill for dismal profits, and the majority of Canadians opposed to the slaughter, the time has come for the Canadian government to start funneling money into helping sealers find other ways to make a living rather than trying to prop up a cruel industry that has garnered worldwide disgust.

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    Joanna says...

    February 9th, 2012, 1:11 pm

    “bloody industry that should have been banned long ago .” – Well said. I’m glad that they all finally see that killing seals is cruel and unprofitable. I hope that from now all Canadian seals will be safe.

    TAMI LUSCHINSKI says...

    February 9th, 2012, 2:38 pm

    This should have stopped years ago and should have never started!!! This is the most imhumane,cruel way of killing animals besides slaughtering pigs I have ever seen! It makes Canada look bad and I am ashamed of Prime Minister Harper for allowing this to continue!! Make Canada a place Canadians can be proud of not ashamed and end this cruel insanity once and for all!!!

    Elena Perez de Gracia says...

    February 9th, 2012, 3:47 pm

    Es una gran noticia, y un gran logro animalista!! estoy convencida que el siglo XXI es el siglo de la liberación animal.

    Steve says...

    February 10th, 2012, 8:34 pm

    The seal hunt is absolutely disgusting. The Canadian Government should be ashamed of themselves..This industry should have never been started in the first place..The people who actually kill these innocent and harmless(not to mention cute)animals should sufer the same fate as the seals..
    They are disgusting human beings..
    This bloody slaughter must stop now!!!

    Romani says...

    February 10th, 2012, 9:02 pm

    I have been saying this for years….find ways to find these abhorent, morally bankrupt sealers a new job..wow, go figure!

    Don Randal says...

    February 10th, 2012, 9:32 pm

    I’m glad to hear the seal slaughter is a dying business. Although it should have been banned years ago, at least it’s no longer a profitable business. However, there’s still a lot of work to be done to end cruelty to animals in Canada and around the world.

    Tucker says...

    February 10th, 2012, 10:13 pm

    THIS MAKES ME SICK!! THIS NEEDS TO END
    ONCE AND FOR ALL! THESE PEOPLE ARE MURDERERS!!

    IT NEEDS TO STOP NOW!!

    Judy Howard says...

    February 11th, 2012, 4:21 am

    I’m a Canadian citizen and I like many others have been speaking out against the seal slaughter for a long time and unfortunately it has been falling on the deaf ears of some of our politicians.

    Canadian Senator Mac Harb, has given voice to the Canadian people and the world who oppose this dead end, behind-the-times industry by proposing the Harb bill which would end the commercial seal hunt, create viable employment opportunities for the sealers and protect Inuit hunting rights.

    I find it interesting that they call this a seal hunt. What hunt? Helpless and vulnerable seal pups that lack any motor skills to escape while their distressed mothers look helplessly on.

    I am hopeful that in my lifetime that I’ll see the end to the commercial seal slaughter.

    dee says...

    February 17th, 2012, 12:35 am

    GOD! finally! please die seal fur industry. and do it yesterday

    Linda W Seely says...

    February 17th, 2012, 11:14 pm

    CANADA’S PRIME MINISTER SHOULD HIDE HIS FACE. HE IS ONE DISGUSTING PRIME MINISTER. HE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE KILLING OF THE BEAUTIFUL AND DEFENDLESS AND HARMLESS SEALS. STOP THIS HORRENDOUS KILLING OF THE SEALS. SEN. HARP, THANK YOU FOR OPPOSING THIS AND WANTED TO SEE THAT THE CRUELTY AND KILLING OF THE SEALS STOP.

    Debra says...

    February 23rd, 2012, 10:51 pm

    How disgusting, I bet alot of you feel terrible that your prime minister does let this happen. Please stop this unnecessary killing, all for what!!! Man and his greed yet again. Aren’t we doing enough bad things in this world without having to kill defenceless animals. Wake up!!! And stop this terrible barbaric thing you allow.

    Gabo says...

    February 23rd, 2012, 10:58 pm

    This is crazy. Why can’t they stop this I meanness. Look at it from the perspective of the person that is hitting a seal with a bat. they are hitting a seal yet they do not quit so that is the very definition of cruel (literally) or they are forced to kill a seal these are both not good things so if you are thinking “these things happen” no they don’t happen normally so do something if you are not aware of this you should be

    Clarence & Flory says...

    February 23rd, 2012, 11:03 pm

    I agree with the person Linda Seely. Canada’s Prime Minister should hide his face. He is heartless. Shame on him!! It is sickening. This needs to end once and for all. These people are murdered and have no conscience.
    I love you PETA!!!!!!
    Flory

    Gail Basaraba says...

    February 23rd, 2012, 11:15 pm

    I am a citizen of Canada and along with the majority of all Canadians from coast-to-coast, I want this Canadian shame to stop immediately! Keep sending emails and keeping this cause at the forefront and let’s put an end to it. We had to stop the cod fishing because we stripped out the seas off the east coast, we stopped whaling years ago because we stripped the sea of those magnificent animals, now is the right time to stop the seal “hunt”. Keep educating all citizens of the world to stop purchasing fur trimmed items and then the demand will stop. Simple but many people just don’t get it yet, education is the key.

    Emily says...

    February 23rd, 2012, 11:42 pm

    I am worried about Stephen Harpers recent visit to China. Treatys were discussed, and I am worried that they have come to a decision regarding the seal industry. I have watched many video’s about China and their practices are horrific!! I feel like China would not care about the seal hunt from a humane perspective….they would be more concerned about profit. Anyone know more details about their meeting??

    rhonda knight says...

    February 24th, 2012, 12:12 am

    It’s about bloody time these idiots have seen the light.No country wants baby skin on their conscience and no country condones wholesale slaughter for no reason what so ever eccept China who thrives on the pain and misery of animals.Canadians find another bloodless job and gain some respect from the world but never mine.

    Joseph W. Nichols says...

    February 24th, 2012, 12:23 am

    I have said it before and I will say it again. My family, and most of my friends will not visit Canada as long as the seal slaughter continues. And my friends in turn are influencing their friends to not visiting Canada. Eventually the Canadian government will realize that they are losing much more in potential tourism dollars than they make in the seal slaughter.

    gail says...

    February 24th, 2012, 1:05 am

    Judith wrote:
    >>”…..the Harb bill which would end the commercial seal hunt, create viable employment opportunities for the sealers and protect Inuit hunting rights<<

    SUPPORT THE HARB BILL!!!

    Shirley Holman says...

    February 24th, 2012, 1:28 am

    I am Canadian but in no way can I be proud of this as long as the reprehensible seal hunt continues. I am hugely embarrassed and ashamed. I would not normally agree with much that Vladimir Putin says but on this he has it right: “bloody industry that should have been banned long ago”. You’re looking worse and worse on this, PM Harper, end it once and for all!

    Rodney says...

    February 24th, 2012, 1:37 am

    Makes me feel disgusted & angry that I am the same species as these gutless & greedy murdering mongrel cave dwellers (with a suit & tie.)
    What’s even sicker is these harmless seals can’t defend or speak up/out for themselves.
    Did these government public servants go to university to learn cruelty & get a degree in inflicting pain or suffering. Vote them onto the dole cue Canada & get a new government with a kind heart. Public servants are supposed to work for & put the good peoples interest first.
    To the good & kind people of Canada, please don’t become
    C ruel
    A nd
    N asty
    A nd
    D isgusting
    A …holes.

    Susan Cooper says...

    February 24th, 2012, 1:48 am

    As a Canadian I am ashamed that this has gone on as long as it has. Back in the ’70′s I was horrified about this injustice and supported every ban against it. Here is it 2012 and our ridiculous government has allowed and supported this industry instead of being a hero for the country and stopped it once and for all. I am disgusted and appalled at the disgrace of it. Shame on our prime minister.

    Connie MacMaster Bencze says...

    February 24th, 2012, 1:54 am

    I am not a Canadian citizen but i do own property there, and love to visit the shore, but my heart breaks when i think of the horrible cruelty that is inflicted on these helpless animals. I am certain that if i ever witnessed this horror my trips would end forever.

    Jet Kiestra says...

    February 24th, 2012, 3:46 am

    Hope that men and women become so wise that they ‘ll find another thing to do then easy moneymaking with the pain of other defendless beings.
    Canadians !!!!! don’t let this happen in your country, please you can stop this cruelty!!!

    Karen Rendell says...

    February 24th, 2012, 4:26 am

    Honestly…! cannot believe there is desire for real fur of any animal!!
    I would have thought Canada would have been be the first to stop!!
    For goodness sake, STOP NOW!!

    Margaret says...

    February 24th, 2012, 5:58 am

    This has been Canada’s shame for many, many years. I am hopeful that this time the bottom line–in bright red ink–will change things for the better. I cannot see anyone wanting to hang onto this barbaric “tradition” if it is not profitable. Of course, I don’t understand it even if it is profitable.

    Marilyn McCoy says...

    February 24th, 2012, 7:16 am

    Yes agree with everthing that has been said by previous people this should be stopped immediately. It is BARBARIC

    maribeth hendrickson says...

    February 24th, 2012, 7:42 am

    The real-world solution to banning seal hunting is to give alternative employment to the people whose livelihoods depend on it. I can’t believe that anyone would want to be employed killing cute baby seals, but if that’s all that life is offering them, then moral arguments about animal welfare seem irrelevant to them. But now it’s the economic circumstances that are coming together to end the seal hunts. There’s no money in it any more. And the rest of the world has looked on Canada with a horrifying gaze at the seal atrocities and Canada no longer wants to present that face to the world, Education and alternative employment circumstances are providing more options to the sealers. Now we have a perfect storm! We’re witnessing the middle of the end of the horror.

    Roger Emerick says...

    February 24th, 2012, 9:13 am

    This is good news. If it can be done for baby seals, I hope it can be done for the infinite daily slaughter of all other non-human species.

    Patricia Kater says...

    February 24th, 2012, 10:02 am

    Finally they are doing something about this deplorable killing of baby seals. END IT FOR GOOD.

    Patricia Kater

    F.Reese Reestman says...

    February 24th, 2012, 10:10 am

    It is indeed unfortunate that the only source of employment/income, if that is really the case, for certain individuals or groups in Canada is the slaughter of seal pups.
    Perhaps some of the millions spent on promoting the hunt could be better spent in the impementation of alternative job creation programmes.
    With most counties in the world condemning “the hunt”, it is indeed time to join them in the total ban of commercial hunting.

    Carol Henderson says...

    February 24th, 2012, 10:24 am

    This is a disgusting practice and one that never should have started in the first place. It is time to stop it once and for all. These are beautiful living creatures and should not be hunted down and slaughtered. I for one have made a pledge to not visit Canada nor buy anything from Canada until this disgusting slaughter has stopped.

    Tigerlily0605 says...

    February 24th, 2012, 10:33 am

    Anyone that could bludgeon a baby seal to death or skin it alive, deserves the same fate. What kind of sick individuals make their living from this??? There are other ways to make a living. The Canadian government would send you back to school. Also, anyone capable of these heinous crimes should not be allowed into the general populace.

    william says...

    February 24th, 2012, 11:54 am

    Romani is absolutely right. Although our moral outrage and disgust is justified a hundredfold, let’s get real people. Our expressions of moral outrage have never been enough to bring about the change we seek as swiftly as we would like.

    We have to calmly recognize how the world works, and act accordingly: It’s all about the money. A group of morally deficient individuals decides they can’t be bothered to find a way to make a living other than by killing animals (or otherwise raping the environment). When people of conscience (such as PETA members) object, the morally bankrupt individuals, instead of looking for another job, decide they had better buy protection for their activities. So they approach the politicians who can be bought and provide money and support, in exchange for which the paid-for politicians obstruct all efforts to stop the immoral behavior, usually by making the bogus argument that a person’s right to make a living must be protected. Those politicians who are less susceptible to being bought find themselves at the receiving end of outright threats, as evidenced by the comment of the politician in the story above that “I might be shot for talking about this.”

    But its still all about money. Although none of us feel a strong urge to help these morally bankrupt people, it makes sense as a practical matter to urge that the government, as part of the law outlawing the immoral behavior, should provide “retraining” to the sealers, so they can make their money some other way. Find some other avenue for them to make money and most will take it. That’s the area that needs more focus on our parts. And you can apply the same principle to many other issues.

    roa says...

    February 24th, 2012, 12:19 pm

    I have been boycotting Canadian seafood for years now and will not even go to Canada until they stop this outrageous and horrifying slaughter. Yes, why not help the sealers find another way to make a living instead of killing poor defenseless animals.. I could never believe that people could hit these poor seals with clubs and watch them suffer to their death.. Beyond disgusting and way beyond the dignity of a beautiful country like Canada

    Jane Blythe says...

    February 24th, 2012, 3:03 pm

    Since 1963 when residing their briefly, I had written letters to the Canadian government protesting this horrendous seal slaughter. NEVER ONCE, in all those years, did I receive a reply.
    Never have visited Canada, or bought Canadian seafood and will not do so until this stops. Just TRAIN the sealers in other occupations — it does not take a genius to think of this!!!!!!!

    Fred B. says...

    February 24th, 2012, 3:59 pm

    Perhaps we should also concentrate on the self centered, morally insecure, selfish women and their easily willing to please pansie male partners that buy these furs for them. What kind of a person, knowing the horror that comes from creating these furs would still want to own one.

    Sherrill Callender says...

    February 24th, 2012, 6:00 pm

    I fear that the fur industry is alive and well on other fronts…according to the many pages I see in fashion magazines that glamorize the wearing of fur. I cannot believe that it is anything other than the willful ignorance of women and men who continue to buy fur products that keeps fur popular. There is certainly enough information out there about this abomination of an industry. If they allowed themselves (and didn’t just ignore the facts) to be meaningfully aware of what really happens in order to put that dead animal on their bodies, surely their hearts and consciences would come into play. At least I like to think so.

    Dee Wright says...

    February 25th, 2012, 2:58 am

    Sherrill is correct — the fashion world dictates a great deal of this cruelity. I give Putin praise — who would have thought it.

    Savannah Walters says...

    February 25th, 2012, 3:47 pm

    The ONLY way to stop all evil trades: whether bludgeoning baby harp seals, sex trafficking children or pedaling illicit drugs – is to quell the demand for it. Stopping suppliers is pretty much impossible – for as long profits are high – they will continue plying their heinous deeds. When governments and people choose to make ethical and moral decsions that interfere with demand for ill gotton “wares” – suppliers’ trades will dwindle of their own accord. It is “sociopaths”: people who lack a sense of moral responsibility and social conscience – who not only supply baby seal fur – but who desire it enough to pay for it solely for vanity’s sake. I pity them all. Change for better will best occur through the education of young people – before their hearts and minds are hardened.

    Candice says...

    February 26th, 2012, 11:14 am

    Yes finally the brutal killing of baby seal will soon come to an end :) How horrific that our government has ever allowed killing harmless helpless baby seals for no reason, and how disgusting some people are, to want to wear an animals fur yuck !!

    diane lombardi says...

    March 11th, 2012, 4:23 pm

    This is the same thing with dolphins in Taiji, Japan being slaughtered for thier meat. Now they found out dolphin meat is loaded with mercury and the locals are not buying it any more, so the market is way down.Any one who could hurt an innocent animal is a HEARTLESS COWARD,IGNORANT AND UNEDUCATED MORAN!!!! LEAVE THE DOLPHINS AND SEALS ALONE COWARDS!!! YOU SEAL KILLERS MAKE ME SICK TO MY STOMACH!!! GET A REAL JOB YOU ANIMAL KILLERS ARE PATHETIC!!!!

    Gordon Wirth says...

    March 11th, 2012, 5:14 pm

    The real shame is that we have people in Canada who are capable of this kind of cruelty.

    diane lombardi says...

    March 16th, 2012, 8:07 pm

    How any one could hurt an innocent defenseless seal is beyond my comprehension.It takes an EVIL person to do that.Are you that uneducated that you can’t get a real job?? I’m a woman and i would take you on COWARD!!! It’s always the poor animals that suffer cause of MAN’S GREED AND IGNORANCE!! I hope and pray the money you made off of these seals goes towards hospital bills to you and your love ones.Let’s keep fighting for these innocent creatures and never give up. HOW DARE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!! RIP

    diane lombardi says...

    March 18th, 2012, 4:27 pm

    LOSERS!!!!!! That’s what the fishermen are in Taiji, Japan and the SEAL KILLERS are in Canada.Thier only job is to kill defenseless animals cause thier not smart enough to get a real job. That’s why i put animals above humans. It makes you wonder how these animal killers are at home. How they treat thier wives, girlfriends kids etc.How is it thier able to sleep at nite knowing they torture thousands of seals and dolphins and watched them suffer. It baffles me to no end. That’s okay, God has a plan He works in strange and mysterious ways. The whalers and sealers will pay for thier evil acts.I will continue to send donations for the dolphins and seals and help in other ways. Let’s keep fighting for these magnificent creatures till the very end. Paul Watson once said, when good people do nothing bad people prosper. I totally agree!!

    Diane Lombardi says...

    April 11th, 2012, 4:42 pm

    Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. LET 2012 BE THE LAST SEASON OF THE SEAL HUNT!!! RIP

    Diane Lombardi says...

    April 12th, 2012, 3:51 pm

    I am so outraged right now. I saw the still image of seals being slaughtered today. I just call the Canadian Embassy and i was not calm or nice this time.There is no reason on this earth this BARBARIC, CRUEL, INSANE HUNT should still go on in this day and age. PETA, HUMANE SOCIETY,SEA SHEPHERD,you all are doing a great job,and i know you guys/gals will not stop until this ends once and for all.Thank you so much for your hard work,it will pay off one day. RIP

    Dee says...

    October 1st, 2012, 6:26 am

    How would the sailors feel, if someone walked up to one of their family members out of the blue, with a club & just kept beating them till they die, I can’t believe this still goes on, & they say “they need to survive & feed their family somehow”, Go get a real job on land & leave them alone in the ocean…

    John says...

    October 14th, 2012, 5:32 am

    Killing for profit. This sad practice is not exclusive the seal industry unfortunately. Makes me sick to be human

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