VIDEO: Seal Hunt Watch 2011 - Cruelty at Every Turn

A Canadian sealer dragging a harp seal across the frozen waters off Newfoundland and Labrador. The International Fund for Animal Welfare seal hunt observation team was downed by bad weather again today, so we used the time to go through yesterday’s footage on a large screen, noting all of the horrific details.

We knew that yesterday we’d seen some pretty awful stuff, but from 1000 ft in the air and looking through a 4x6” monitor, it’s (almost mercifully) difficult to see the details. In full blown, high-definition, the cruelty of Canada’s commercial seal hunt is much, much worse.

Our first shot of the day was captured when we were still several miles away. As the first boat we came into view, we could distinguish the figure of a man with a hakapik on the ice – active seal hunting – so we headed there as fast as we could.

Two of sealers from the vessel Noah Matheson were out on the ice goofing around. One appeared to be posing with a ragged jacket seal pup while the other took a photo, they then switched positions.  And after having their fun, they picked up the pup by the hind flippers, swung it back and forth a few times and threw it roughly onto the ice. As the hapless pup scrambled away, I wondered what sort of a person would do such a thing? Suddenly the sealers took off on a run chasing after a nearby adult seal.  They slipped on the ice and swung at it wildly with their hakapik as it escaped into the slush. Now I was really wondering: what kind of person would possibly try to club a 600 lb, adult harp seal with a hakapik? Not only illegal but incredibly dangerous and, quite frankly, stupid.

The images we captured continued with the same unfortunate themes: boats crushing seal pups in the ice, gaffing seals without checking for unconciousness, even when it was completely possible to do so. Seals shot at but still alive, clenching and writhing in pain on the ice. Piles of carcasses discarded on the ice – completely contradicting the Canadian government’s claims that this is a “full-utilization” hunt. Seals injured but “struck and lost” as the boat’s movements pushed them into the slushy ice. Sealers swinging wildly with their hakapiks at the side of a pup’s face rather than directly on the cranium. Seals were shot, clubbed, sliced, and skinned, but rarely was the “three-step process” of stunning, checking for unconsciousness, and bleeding out to ensure death being conducted.

On day one our team captured footage of a seal pup, slit down the belly, waving and clenching its front flipper as other bodies were piled on top of it in the bottom or a skiff.

We thought nothing could be worse. We were wrong.

In reviewing our footage, we watched the sealing vessel Makin Waves bear down on two pups, one that had been shot, the other that was still very much alive and looking around. We expected the pups to be crushed under the hull. Then we watched in horror as one of the men on the boat reached down and jabbed the live pup with his long handled gaff. The frightened pup whirled and snapped at the gaff, trying to bite at it in self defense. But she didn’t stand a chance. With another swing, the sealer slammed the steel hook into the little pup’s face, and lifted her up into the boat.  There was absolutely no question as to what we were seeing: here was a live, conscious, seal pup being brutally hooked through her eye socket and lifted into a boat.

Of course this is not legal – but with no enforcement presence in the area, had we not captured this with our camera who would ever know? And if sealers were comfortable hooking live animals when they were aware of our presence, what were they doing when they weren’t being watched?

Documenting the atrocities of Canada’s commercial seal hunt is a difficult and, admittedly, an expensive undertaking. But if IFAW were not here to bear witness to the deaths of these pups, no one would know the truth.  But thanks to our supporters, we are able to gather the indisputable evidence that this slaughter is cruel, unnecessary, and wasteful. IFAW will continue to use this evidence to close markets for seal products around the world, and to work with political leaders in Canada until the commercial seal hunt is ended for good.

-- SF

Take action to help the International Fund for Animal Welfare stop this senseless slaughter at http://www.ifaw.org/seals

Comments: 28

 
Anonymous
2 years ago

Animals all over the world are being killed in such humane and cruel ways, god siad to noah every moving thing that live shall be food for you but abstain from the blood. genesis chapter 9 verses 2 to 7 ( food ) it saddens one heart watching any animal be put to death even humanely , when animals are killed just for the sake of a skin so someone can look good , man his only to blame , tigers monkeys elephants the list goes on . take take take just pure greed, one day there will be no animals, left , no oil for there fuel, and no man will ever live uopn earth again. may god wipe out all humans has they dont deserve to live in this beautifull world in which he was given ( FREE ) for them to look after.

 
Anonymous
2 years ago

I can't watch the videos they are so sickening people who do this have got to stop it this how you make a living.

 
Anonymous
2 years ago

Please stop the animal cruelty

 
Anonymous
3 years ago

Quit sticking up for this abomination jack.

 
Anonymous
3 years ago

[...] VIDEO: Seal Hunt Watch 2011 - Cruelty at Every Turn — AnimalWire.org A Canadian sealer dragging a harp seal across the frozen waters off Newfoundland and Labrador. The International Fund for Animal Welfare seal hunt observation team was downed by bad weather again today, so we used the [...]

 
Anonymous
3 years ago

My sister in law is a newfoundlander ... we have had tons of heated discussion about the seal hunt .. being from newfoundland she sees no harm in the seal hunt that has been going on for generations... the last discussion had ( i being a massive peta supporter and her not) had to do with the hakapik of which she claims that eastern hunters no longer use it and now use a gun which is less humane ... Now that i have seen this video it only goes to show that times have never change and we must fight for those little ones who cannot.. it breaks my heart .. but i will continue to fight to save those that cannot save themselves.. i dont mean to be cruel but how would individuals ( ie humans, hunters) feel if the tables were turned?????

 
Anonymous
3 years ago

You are totally out of your mind. "these are hard working people trying to survive and make a living"...hacking to death baby seals.

 
Anonymous
3 years ago

wont watch the video ...I cannot I have known of the horrific torturing for many years. Just reading these stories makes me literally sick to my stomach. These "humans" are plain evil ....nothing else!!! Canadian government needs to step up and ban this forever!!! God bless the people trying to help and the poor innocent precious seals. How can they even call it "hunting". This is for cowards with no souls or heart in them!!!! Having a demented mind is the only thing i can think of! It is absolutely DISGUSTING

 
Anonymous
3 years ago

Jack, all I can say is apart from the fact that you have no soul, you are probably a decendent of Rosemary´s baby, just like all the sealers, how utterly disgusting it is for someone to defend the murder of these beautiful innocent creatures. Also, you should inform yourself better as to why the sealers do what they do. One of them admitted, he did what he did because he liked to. NONE, and I mean NONE of these murdereres are starving. They are not even poor. They choose to hunt these babies as an extra income, you know a few more dollars so that they can buy their wives a pretty outfif by the end of the year. That is the sole reason they do this. II baby sit to earn an extra income, now that is a normal thing to do, not bashing in the heads and skinning helpless babies.

 
Anonymous
3 years ago

Canadian Government has gone down to a new low for me. Disgusting. How they can sleep knowing this goes on and these horrible sealers. If they never have another night's sleep; having horrible dreams is not enough punishment. But someday they will be standing in front of God and when he asks them how they could do that to one of his beautiful creatures, especially babies....there will not be a good answer. Even though, hell is too good for these wastes of skins.

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