The Canadian government doesn’t seem to want to let go of the country’s increasingly unprofitable and unsustainable annual seal hunt, which is the largest slaughter of marine mammals on the planet, according to Humane Society International (HSI).
The hunt kills hundreds of thousands of harp seals each year through painful methods that involve wooden clubs, hakapiks (clubs with sharp picks at the end), and guns.
In an effort to avoid even more bad press and protect its sealers’ interests, an ag-gag type bill was recently introduced into the Canadian legislature that would “increase the distance that unauthorized persons or ‘unlicensed observers’ must maintain from seal harvesters,” reports The Epoch Times. If passed, this bill has the potential to limit important hunt documentation carried out by nonprofit organizations like the HSI and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).
In yet another crazy turn of events, the Canadian government has just announced that it is setting its 2014 hunt quota at a staggering 400,000 seals – an absolutely absurd number considering that a 2013 ICI Radio Canada report revealed that thousands of seal pelts have been thrown away in recent years due to declining demand.
“In setting this reckless quota, the Fisheries Minister has yet again ignored sound science in favor of political agendas. Given the devastating impacts of climate change on the ice dependent harp seals, the Canadian government should be ending commercial sealing, not setting historic high slaughter quotas,” said Rebecca Aldworth, executive director of HSI Canada.
Countries around the world have been showing opposition to Canada’s annual hunt — from the U.S. and China to the nations of the EU (where a seal products ban has been in effect since 2009) — yet somehow Canada still insists that its annual hunt is an important part of the country. When will Canada wake up and see the reality that’s plainly laid out before them?
We need to show Canada that there is a way out of this dying industry and that the world wants to see this cruel annual slaughter come to an end. Lend your voices to Canada’s seals and use the petition below to urge the Canadian government to end the seal hunt once and for all with an industry buyout that would offer sealers a fair payment to give up their seal hunting license.
Image source: Brian Skerry / The Humane Society of the United States