Each year, the Canadian government gives hunters the green light to bludgeon to death hundreds of thousands of baby harp seals. During the slaughter, baby seals are shot or repeatedly clubbed.
Sealers bludgeon the animals with clubs and “hakapiks” (metal-hook–tipped clubs) and drag the seals—who are often still conscious—across the ice floes with boat hooks.
Hunters toss dead and dying seals into heaps and leave their carcasses to rot on the ice floes because there is no market for seal meat. Veterinarians who have investigated the slaughter have found that hunters routinely fail to comply with Canada’s animal welfare standards.
Baby seals are helpless and have no way to escape from the sealers’ clubs. A Washington Post article on the seal slaughter described it this way: “[A] seal appearing to gasp for air, blood running from its nose as it lies on an ice floe. Not far away, a sealer sharpens his knife blade. The seal seems to be thrashing as its fur is sliced from its torso.”
The Christian Science Monitor wrote: “The few terrified survivors, left to crawl through the carnage. The shouted obscenities and threats from the sealers, gunfire cracking ominously in the distance. The pitiful cries of the pups; the repellent thuds of clubs raining down on soft skulls. Sealers’ laughter echoing across the ice floes.”
Many seals who are killed are 3 months old or younger. Many have not yet learned how to swim or eaten their first solid meals.
The sealing industry claims that it is killing more seals because of an increased demand for fur. Although the U.S. banned the sale of seal fur in 1972, anyone wearing the fur of minks, rabbits, foxes, or any other kind of animal is responsible for creating a demand for fur, which pushes Canadian hunters to club more seals each year. Then in 2009, the European Union voted to end the sale of seal products, and the U.S. Senate unanimously passed U.S. Senate Resolution 84, calling for an immediate end to the annual seal slaughter.
Please tell everyone you know about Canada’s cruel slaughter of baby seals and urge them to contact the Canadian government to ask for an immediate end to this cruel slaughter.
We invite you to vote FOR or AGAINST the banning of the annual seal slaughter. Even if you’re not from Canada, please vote and also leave your comments at the bottom of this page.
The editorial content of this article was written and published by PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.