IFAW 2008 Seal Hunt Press and Blog Coverage

Seal_hunt Barbaric Blood-Letting Seal Hunt in Canada, from Life in the Fast Lane

"British reporter Danny Penman from the Daily Mail spent nearly a week in Nova Scotia, Canada, to investigate this year’s ruthless slaughter at close range as the horror unfolded.

"'The baby seal looked into the eyes of her executioner. Barely a flicker of emotion shows on the fisherman’s face as he smashes a steel-tipped club into her mouth. She lay whimpering on the ice, blood pouring from her jaw and nose.'

'But she wasn’t yet dead, so the sealer hit her in the face another 4 times before slamming a hooked “hakapik” club into her stomach and dragging her across the ice towards the ship.'"

Editorial: Canada is not so caring, from the Brantford Expositor

"The seal hunt, nearing 300,000 slaughtered babies per year for the garment industry, has increased drastically since the Conservatives took power. Most people who do this hunt are far batter off financially than many Canadian households. The hunt is not needed for the survival if the hunter. This hunt is only needed for trading purposes with Asian countries, soon to be the only countries that will allow any seal part into their lands, as we are one of the few remaining countries to allow dog and cat furs into our homes."

Mourners gather in small town to remember sealers, from CTV

"Mourners gathered Friday as the bodies of three sealers, who perished at sea last weekend, were carried into the town hall of Cap-Aux-Meules, a small community located in Iles-de-la-Madeleine, Que.

"A fourth sealer is still missing and presumed dead after the victims' fishing vessel, the L'Acadien II, capsized during a rescue operation by the Canadian Coast Guard last Saturday off the coast of Cape Breton."

Comments: 21

6 years ago

Hey folks,
get the facts right please.
Income of a sealer ~8000$ annually. Income of the US Humane Society president +500.000$ annually.
He could buy out more then 80 of them not to go sealing.

7 years ago

I am NOT ashamed of the seal hunt.
its a viable industry.
canadians have not been using the hack-a-pick for years and the killing of white coats (the cute ones with the big eyes) is illegal, has been for some time.
for you who take you hand in the protest i ask that you only educate yourselves
there is so much more to this debate then the protest and sadly people cant look past it
to the Newfoundland Sealer i take my hat off and i give you my respect

7 years ago

I think that everybody who do this terrible slaughter need to be kill!!!this is TERRIBLE

7 years ago

For the people out there who say that hunters do this to survive, I can somewhat understand. But we live in the 21st century and have long since had the technology to kill (if you absolutely HAVE to) these helpless animals in a more humane way.

7 years ago

this is wrong

8 years ago

I cannot believe that human beings are still in the Stone Age. How can this cruelty be permitted? It's a shame on Canada

8 years ago

Wer solch einen Pelz trägt,hat Schuld am Tod der armen Tiere und vor allem wie sie sterben mußten. Ich wünsche denen, das gleiche durchzumachen.

8 years ago

Furchtbar, wie das Töten der Robben geschieht. Ein Leid ohne Ende. Bloß, daß einige blöde Frauen einen Pelz tragen können. Das Tier hat ein Recht auf Leben.

8 years ago

REALITY CHECK: Time to Face the Fact the Newfoundland Seal Hunt is Doomed.
The Independent, Newfoundland and Labrador Newspaper
By Columnist RYAN CLEARY
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Time to face the fact the Newfoundland seal hunt is doomed. We cannot save it, not right now, no matter how right and desperate we are to try.
The forces against the commercial hunt - dark though so many of them may be - have become too passionate and powerful. The animal rights crowd is winning the public relations war with the average Joe and Jane on the world street. The continued battle is doing more harm than good to our economy and international image.
We would be better off if the commercial hunters retreated -at least for now, until a world appetite develops such that the method of harvest is secondary to the mouths that are fed and bodies clothed.
It hasn't been that way in a dog's age. The Newfoundland hunt was once about survival, plain and simple. Every part of the animal was used to keep outport body and soul together. More and more it's about pelts and prices.
That's not enough to justify a hunt. The seal has become the modern-day buffalo in terms of waste.
Given that so many of the world's cupboards appear to be bare or headed there, a new hunger for seal (and our fish, but that's not this week's topic) may not be that far off. It was only last week the Globe carried a two-page feature on the rising prices of food around the planet and a crisis around the corner.
The world will eat seal when it's hungry enough to eat seal. It wasn't long ago lobster was the spider of the sea.
As for the politicians defending the hunt - federal Fisheries Minister Loyola Hearn chief among them - he's been criticized in the national media for using the hunt to improve the Conservative lot in the Atlantic provinces.
It sure looks that way. At the very least, Hearn was stunned enough to play directly into Paul Watson's hands. Hearn, the poor over-his-head shagger, can't win. More on that in a moment.
On Thursday of this week The Globe and Mail ran eight letters to the editor under the headline, The many truths about sealing.
A sample of the anti-hunt sentiments:
"I will not vacation in Canada and will avoid buying Canadian products until the seal slaughter stops," writes Pat Ginsbach of Kerrville, Tex.
Anita Rutz of New York mentions the recent loss of four sealers from Quebec. "If they weren't committing acts against God's creatures, they would be alive."
Peter Bowker of Ontario says if government could find $50 million to pay pig farmers not to raise pigs, why can't the same amount be found to pay sealers not to seal? "Or must we admit that the hunt, as it is conducted, is really a cultural ritual, like cockfighting and fox hunting?"
Many Canadians who can sympathise with the economic necessity of the seal hunt can't get past the term "skinned alive," writes Birgit Van De Wetering of Ontario. "It belies the image of warmth and folksiness the Newfoundland Tourist Board is trying to sell us."
Right or wrong, an anti-seal hunt attitude has taken hold. That's the reality.
We are right to defend sealing as part of our heritage. An attack on the hunt is an attack on who we are as a people and where we come from. Remove the emotion from the debate, however, and it's clear the commercial hunt is no longer critical to our survival.
Today's hunt is as much about pride - our God-given right to hunt - as money. That attitude got us nowhere with fish. It's getting us nowhere with seals.
I would argue the hunt has marginal value. The potential loss to tourism alone may far outweigh the benefits of a continued hunt.
God knows the hunt has political power.
The Globe went after Hearn earlier this week in an editorial critical of the Canadian Coast Guard's recent boarding and seizure of the environmental vessel Farley Mowat and the arrest of her captain and first officer. The paper described the move as a "grossly disproportionate response" to the efforts of opponents to document the seal hunt.
For his part, Paul Watson, head of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, said the action was taken to seize graphic videotapes of the hunt. The Globe, on the other hand, noted the action was a way for Hearn and his party to redeem themselves with East Coasters.
God knows they need redeeming.
Premier Danny Williams waded into the debate with a guest column of his own in the Globe. He proposes the banning of hakapiks. But such a move will not appease anyone as long as the ice beneath the seal is stained red with blood.
Ironically, ending the commercial seal hunt may spell an end to Watson, who relies on it financially as much as any sealer from Twillingate.
The Globe also carried letters in defence of the hunt. Kyle McIver of Kingston says he finds no difference between clubbing seals with hakapiks, fish asphtxiating on decks or using high-pressure metal bolts to sever spinal cords of cattle. "If sealing is basically akin to agricultural meat production and fishing, then the primary reason to defend seals is reduced to the fact they are cute with big round eyes and soft fur, and the argument fails."
The argument may fail, but the big round eyes will always win. Until the people are hungry enough.

8 years ago

I can't believe that the Canadian Government allows this brutal, savage, cruel and shameful hunt go on year after year. When are human beings going to leave the Middle Ages behind? Those hunters should put themselves in those innocent, defenseless animals skins.

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