For many years, an annual commercial seal hunt has taken place in Canada, during which thousands of seals – usually the most young and vulnerable – are clubbed to death for their pelts, meat, and blubber. In 2014, the Canadian government’s hunt quota was an unbelievable 400,000 seals! International opposition to the inhumane hunts has been building for a long time, but despite strenuous efforts from within Canada and the introduction of bans on commercial, non-aboriginal seal imports in dozens of countries – including the U.S., the European Union nations, Russia, and Switzerland – the industry continues unabated.
Humane Society International (HSI) has described the hunt as “the largest slaughter of marine mammals on the planet,” and further added that, “the actual number of seals killed is likely higher than the number reported. Many seals are shot at and injured in the course of the hunt, and studies suggest that a significant number of these animals slip beneath the surface of the water, where they die slowly and are never recovered.”
The truly tragic thing is that because of growing international condemnation of the hunts, and many countries’ refusal to accept all importations of commercial seal products, the goods created from the hunts often to go to waste. In 2013, an estimated 6,000 seal pelts from Canada’s Magdalen Islands were simply thrown away, as they could not be sold.
HSI has now launched a Care2 petition aimed at halting the annual hunt once and for all. As the petition points out, the only reason the sealing industry continues to exist is “because of the millions of dollars of federal and provincial subsidies the industry receives.” HSI adds that “keeping the commercial seal hunt on artificial life support does nothing to create sustainable jobs for future generations. In contrast, an investment in the development of marine ecotourism could generate real opportunities in these regions.”
With a wide range of celebrities and international figures opposed to the cruel and unnecessary seal hunts, there is hope that the industry could end! You can take a stand against it by signing HSI’s petition today. To learn more, check out our posts, 5 Reasons Seals Should Not Be Hunted and 5 Signs the Canadian Seal Hunt is on the Way Out. For more information about HSI’s efforts to end the seal hunt, visit their website.
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