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

This is truley a disgusting INHUMANE thing to do to a defenceless creature!!! That was one of the most disturbing things ever...imagine for a minute please that you are just out in the middle of no where a small helpless animal and out of no where someone comes and bashes your head in with a club...and then puts a big metal hook in ur face and drags you! ITS NOT something we would ever wish to happen to a humane being so why does this need to happen to a small animal?! WHAT the hell have baby seals and grown seals done to humans? This needs to stop...I dont care if the government puts new regulations on how seal hunting is supposed to go..the government is NEVER around to see this happening therefore how can they stop it? They need to completely abolish seal hunts its unnecessary and cruel and sickening. I think that we should go after seal hunters and bash them in the freaking head with clubs and then hook their faces and drag them while they are still alive and see how they feel afterwards. WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND!!!!! this is disgusting...GET RID OF SEAL HUNTING!!

 
Anonymous
6 years ago

Really shame on the Canadian gov to accept this stupid hunt. I´m here far in Brazil, but watching this with almost nothing to do. Its a pity to see that video scenes.
Thanks IFAW to keep us informed.
Marcelo

 
Anonymous
6 years ago

Every year this brutal hunt continues. Shame on the Canadian gov't for allowing such horrible, cruel treatment on these poor deffensless babies who cannot defend themselves. The ambassador needs to see this first hand...maybe he will rethink his decision. God help him..what goes around comes around!

 
Anonymous
6 years ago

I am totally ashamed & appalled with our CDN Government!! Steven Harper should be ON one of those boats to personally watch this sickening & inhumane hunt, he personally needs to SEE what his Government is approving!

 
Anonymous
6 years ago

I'm sick to my stomach, this needs to be stopped.

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