- Hunter clubs a seal in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence,
Photograph: Stewart Cook/Getty Images
- The largest seal hunt in almost 50 years continues today
on the ice floes and islands off eastern Canada as a picture in some of
this morning's newspapers shows a seal hunter apparently about to beat
one of the animals to death.
- Armed with rifles and spears, some 12,000 sealers began
the hunt yesterday, accompanied by protesters condemning the £10m
harvest as barbaric. Up to 10,000 seals were being killed every hour, reports
- Hunters are allowed to kill 350,000 young seals this
year, the largest amount since the government instituted quotas in the
1960s. Sealers say the harp seal population is burgeoning at 5.2 million
and pelts are garnering record prices of about £27 each as it enjoys
a boom in popularity with fashion designers.
- However Rebecca Aldworth of the International Fund for
Animal Welfare, which will monitor the cull, said: "I believe this
hunt is inherently cruel and the regulations to protect the seals are woefully
- She said hunting guidelines have been routinely ignored
during her five years of monitoring the hunt, and her group has documented
nearly 700 violations of hunting regulations since 1998. She said she has
seen "seals whimpering in agony after being clubbed, and even though
we begged the sealers to finish them off, they refused."
- The hunt off the coasts of Newfoundland and Labrador
received international attention beginning in the 1960s, and bloody television
images of baby harp seals being clubbed to death led to bans on white seal
fur and boycotts of Canadian fish products in many European markets.
- Since then, the Canadian government has tried to ease
protesters' concerns by banning the killing of seal pups under 12 days
old - when their fur changes from white to grey - and implementing regulations
designed to make the hunt more humane.
- Many countries, including the United States, still ban
imports of seal products, but the Ottawa government has supported the hunt
to help Canada's economically troubled coastal towns. The industry earned
about £8m last year, primarily from pelt sales to Norway, Denmark
- Earlier this year, the Humane Society of the United States
took out full-page newspaper ads urging Americans to cancel trips to Canada
and boycott Canadian products.
- US Senator Carl Levin introduced a resolution condemning
the hunt, and some of those attending the Sundance Film Festival in Utah
earlier this year wore T-shirts reading: "Club Sandwiches, Not Seals".
- However, some of the major activist groups that targeted
sealing in the past said they have more pressing issues to address this
- Andrew Male of Greenpeace Canada said the organisation
was "not actively campaigning" against the hunt, instead focusing
on such issues as genetically modified foods and climate change.
- Despite its newspaper ad, the Humane Society does not
oppose the hunt itself, only some of the methods used by sealers, spokesman
Nicholas Braden said.
- Although most seals are shot instead of clubbed, many
wounded animals are left to drown, he said. A study by the organisation
found that 40% of the seals killed were still alive while being skinned,
despite rules designed to prevent this, he said.
- But Steve Outhouse, a spokesman for Canada's Ministry
of Fisheries and Oceans, disputed the accusations of campaigners. A Canadian
Veterinary Medical Association study found that 98% of the seals were killed
"in a medically humane manner with the minimum of pain," he said
- The Canadian government has filed charges of illegal
hunting more than 100 times during the past five years, Mr Outhouse said.
- Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited
From Steve Frye
- Mr. Jeff Rense,
- I recently saw an article you posted on your website
regarding the killing of innocent and trusting seals in Canada. I must
confess to you, that I was unable to read the article.The photo of the
real animal about to club the innocent and trusting seal was too much for
me. I became nauseated and wept openly.
- I have always been a scrapper. I would fist fight at
the drop of a hat or a dirty look. In my youth, I fought 4 road curbing
crew workers at the same time. Many people claimed I was nuts in the head.
I'm not nuts, I just speak my mind, especially when wronged or when witnessing
someone being wronged.
- My point being, that I'm not a wimpy person nor have
I ever been. When I looked at the photo of that inhuman waste of flesh
about to club a defenseless seal while the seal looks up at him as a child
looks at it's mother, I almost vomited.
- To think this is going on a thousand times a day, every
day is heartbreaking. I don't care if these inhuman pieces of shit cannot
feed their family or not. There is absolutely no excuse to commit this
kind of atrocity. I tell you, if I were ever to witness something like
that, there would be no hope for that sorry Bastard. None!
- Anyone who would beat the brains out of a helpless and
trusting wild animal like that deserves at least to have the same thing
done to them as well. Hopefully, in sight of the seals where the animals
could watch the real "animal" get his brains beat out. Retarded
Cowards. Too stupid to relocate to an area where they CAN work and feed
their families without murdering defenseless creatures who have as much
right to live and survive as we do. I'd like to see these murdering bastards
survive the cruelty of nature as well as our wildlife does. The evil and
cruelty of humanity is beyond me. This business of killing these seals
must be stopped.
- In a world where human babies are ripped and torn to
pieces, having their skulls crushed before being removed from the mother
during the abominable abortion procedure, which is condoned by millions,
it shouldn't be a surprise to see the kind of activity such as the seal
horror, but it is. These "people" have the same mentality as
those who tie puppies and helpless dogs to a tree and let pitbulls rip
them apart without the ability to defend themselves. They aren't people,
they are demons.
- Judgement rain down upon those who participate in these
horrific deeds. There is no justice in this world when these activities
can happen without the actor being struck down in the act. However judgement
will certainly be metered out to these "people" who have no soul.
They have no soul. Their fate is sealed. Literally.
- Your site is one of my main stops when I buzz the net
daily and I have read many disturbing stories, but nothing hit me harder
than the picture of that Bastard about to strike a helpless, innocent and
trusting animal like that. It struck me to the core. Who are the real animals?
If these people count themselves as human, then I don't number myself among
- Thank you for your attention and your web site,
- Steve Frye
- From Mary Sparrowdancer
- This is outrageous.
- As someone who has taken care of more than 20,000 sick,
injured and orphaned wild animals and birds, I can tell you that the seal
looking at the man has absolutely no idea that the man is about to deliver
to it a death blow. Animals have inherent innocence, and they only come
to understand the violence of human beings after human beings exhibit their
- Of all the orphaned wild birds and animals that I have
cared for and raised, I can say that the majority of those that have been
released back into the wild have sought me out after they became adults.
- Not only did they remember me, they also brought their
own young to me. Perhaps they were teaching something to their young -
I do not know - all I know is that when they brought their young to me,
I was permitted to feed and touch their young.
- Even though I was not always able to recognize the adults
birds and animals who returned to me with their young, they never forgot
who I was. The animals never forgot the compassion that had been extended
- mary sparrowdancer