IFAW Hunt Watch 2008 - Graphic Video and Accounts of the Hunt

On Monday the IFAW team continued to document Canada's commercial seal hunt off the east coast of Cape Breton. We saw four boats; two medium size boats and two small skiffs, along with the Coast Guard vessel. The boats were moving through the ice pans searching for the young pups.  Although this is my seventh year documenting Canada's commercial seal hunt, one can never be completely prepared for the cruelty that we witness. We documented sealers both shooting seals from their boats and clubbing them on the ice.

I saw animals being shot from boats and injured; these young seals were not killed quickly or humanely like the Canadian government claims they are. One animal was crawling around on the ice bleeding for over a minute before the boat arrived and a sealer jumped down onto the ice pan to kill it with a club.  It never ceases to amaze me that sealers see a seal crawling around on the ice suffering, yet they don't act quickly and shoot the animal again to put it out of it's misery.

IFAW documents the seal hunt for a few days a year and we can only be filming one boat at time. Yet every year we see animals being shot or clubbed and left to suffer. We see animals hooked and skinned alive, as we did yesterday. The most striking image from yesterday's footage involved a seal that was injured and then hooked in the face and dragged back to the boat. We were moving between boats and came across a sealer on the ice with what appeared to be a dead seal. He started writing in the snow with a bloody finger; the message was "F@ck Off".

As we were circling to get a better shot of his message to us, the seal that was on the ice behind him, tried to sit up! This was clearly not swimming reflex, this animal was still conscious. The sealer did not respond by taking action to quickly kill the seal as required by the Marine Mammal Regulations, instead he hooked it in the face and then proceeded to drag the animal across the ice and onto the boat, still alive. What we document out here is unacceptable and the world needs to see what only a few people have the ability to view in person. IFAW is here to document the hunt so that the world can see that this hunt is inherently cruel and is not monitored or enforced like the government claims. 

Although the hunt in the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence is coming to a close, IFAW will stay on another day or so to try to document as long as we can. The weather was bad today so we could not fly, but we will try again on Wednesday. We are here so that the world can see what really happens during the world's largest marine mammal hunt.

Comments: 15

 
Anonymous
6 years ago

It looks like the cruel seal hunt will completely come to an end soon..thanks to the "National"newspaper article.On another sad note,there is still(believe it or not)polar bear hunting going on up in Canada,I thought global warming was to blame for the bears dramatic decline over the years.I am hoping to see this ridiculous and senseless activity stopped.There is a real nice fellow named Rick Herscher who is an American entrepreneuer who has claimed to have killed 100's of the bears,taking rich people from around the world on little bear slaughtering trips each spring at $15,000+ a pop.I am posting his phone # if anyone besides myself wants to call him and let him know what a brave man he is.Call the IRS as well to inform them that he is not paying taxes on all that hunting income as I have found out.Give him a call at 954-540-2523 Thank you and hopefully we can end this,it's for the bears

 
Anonymous
6 years ago

I can only say that I am deeply ashamed as a human being for what is being done here and feel a tremendous despair and pain for the immense suffering caused. Not just by the baby seals, but by the mothers left behind. This is commercial killing, not hunting for food like native peoples do. There is no respect for life here. It is cold, calculated and has but one goal: making money. I totally agree with a comment made earlier: no demand, no sales, no killing.
Thank you, people from IFAW, for having the courage to go out there and film this. I very much admire you for it.

 
Anonymous
6 years ago

To Matt M and Joe , guys get a life, if you really want to show some strenght join the military ,or is it just cool to threaten people for love of nature ..... you guys are just punks with clubs ... the real hero's are the one trying to save the planet ... I spent 12 months in Iraq and came back witha totally new look on life. Guys like you wouldn't last a week ...USMC

 
Anonymous
6 years ago

I can't believe what they are doing to the baby seals. I have been following it from 3-28 and have gotten myself so upset. What has happened to the world. I hope when they have to explain to god what they did he takes that into consideration and puts them in hell to suffer. This has to stop.

 
Anonymous
6 years ago

This continues to be a disgusting, inhumane crime against the natural world. The Canadina government should be utterly ashamed of themselves. do they realise it is 2008?. This nothing more than a barbaric slaughter serving no purpose whatsoever. IT MUST BE STOPPED. As long as this happens I will never put fut on canadian soil or support their country in anything they do. One day, I hope they need support from the british government and we can politely tell them where to go.

 
Anonymous
6 years ago

I just returned home from our local Humane Society monthly meeting. I watched this video & my heart literally just hurts. Our God entrusts us humans to take care of His creations, including His animals. Don't think for one moment these heartless money hungry butchers will not have to answer for what they are doing to His creation.The bible tells us that HE knows when a sparrow falls from the sky!
How can a man who wields a club with a hook, & skin something alive still be a gentle loving person or father?? He can't, its as simple as that. People who can do that should not breed. I would not trust a man like that to nurture a child or to even have a family pet.Respect for ALL life needs to be taught to our children like my mother taught me & my siblings. I wouldn't intentionally hurt a frog, let alone a beautiful baby seal. These men are & are breeding the next generation of Jeffrey Dahmers.God will exact vengeance where the Canadian government refuses to."We reap what we sow" sums it up.

 
Anonymous
6 years ago

If there weren't any senseless fashion designers that make brainless women and men use end enjoy blood tainted fur for false vanity, sealers will have to find other ways of supporting themselves. If there is NO DEMAND there will be no SALE!

 
Anonymous
6 years ago

Man is not in a superior position to animals by default,if we have it at all that superiority must be earned through the conscientious use of our minds. Cruelty and needless butchery are not part of that. Certainly, sneaking up on baby animals and brutally clubbing, cutting and hooking them for a few extra bucks, does NOT quality as superior in any conceivable way. A grown man beating up and killing a poor defenseless BABY animal is about as un-masculine as it gets. It shows me how and why the Dodo was wiped out, and the buffalo. No, it was not for "sport", and it was not done by "rugged" he-men. It was done by unthinking morons who can't hold a real job, (probably because they have no conscience, class, humanity, or intelligence) and who, unlike the rest of us thinking humans, have to have the Coast Guard there to help them do their job.

 
Anonymous
6 years ago

Survival of the fittest, eco-terrorists.
Whoever is the strongest must take advantage of that position. If the seals are in no danger of being hunted to extinction (and they aren't, no matter how much propaganda you believe), then that would raise some red flags. Otherwise, it's part of the cycle of life - we are hunting, eating, and enjoying the animal products. Better fur than industrially produced nylons and fabrics.

 
Anonymous
6 years ago

CRUEL,CRUEL,CRUEL,CRUEL.....I couldn't have said it better Ashley.NO LIVING CREATURE be it animal or human deserve to be treated like this.SHAME on people who actually support the seal hunt.KARMA is real,like Ashley said WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND!!!This has got to be STOPPED!!!

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