Canadian seal hunt doc to be seen by Discovery’s millions of viewers

The feature documentary Huntwatch, narrated by actor Ryan Reynolds and produced by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), will be airing on Thursday, September 22 in the United States on Discovery Impact at 10 pm, and in Canada on Animal Planet at 11 pm ET.

The film follows the history of IFAW’s campaign against Canada’s East Coast commercial harp seal hunt, highlighting the unwavering courage and determination of our founder, Brian Davies.  Blending never-before-seen archival footage with more recent interviews, the documentary reveals not only the cruelty and controversy that is commonly associated with the seal hunt, but also shows the beauty and majesty of harp seals in their natural environment, the historical importance of the hunt in eastern Canada, and the political machinations that allow it to continue today.

Television was the medium that first brought the cruelty of the Canadian seal hunt to the world more than 50 years ago.  Now it is time to reach an even wider audience, and to bring the seal hunt back into the spotlight.

Having spent 12 years documenting and observing the east coast seal hunt first-hand, I know how heartbreaking, dangerous, and exhausting it is to obtain the hundreds of hours of footage taken over the years. With this film, the efforts of IFAW’s dedicated team of campaigners, videographers, photographers, and communications professionals have been woven together to bring you a comprehensive look at our fight to save seals, a fight that continues to this day.

READ: This Seal Week, tell PM Trudeau to end commercial seal hunting in Canada

Thanks to your support, IFAW has been successful in closing international markets for seal products, with 35 countries now having a ban in place.  Since the EU ban in 2009, 2.5 million seals have been saved from slaughter.

But it is not over yet: Propped up by government subsidies, the industry slaughtered 66,000 pups this spring.

So long as helpless seal pups are cruelly killed for commercial profit on Canada’s east coast, IFAW will keep up our fight to end it. And we know that Justin Trudeau and his government can do better for Atlantic Canadian fishermen than encouraging a slaughter that is cruel, unnecessary and wasteful.

Please watch the film and take action to end the commercial seal hunt.


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Azzedine Downes,IFAW President and CEO
President and Chief Executive Officer
Beth Allgood, Country Director, United States
Country Director, United States
Cynthia Milburn, Director, Animal Welfare Outreach & Education
Senior Advisor, Policy Development
Faye Cuevas, Esq.
Senior Vice President
Grace Ge Gabriel, Regional Director, Asia
Regional Director, Asia
Jason Bell, Vice President for Conservation and Animal Welfare
Vice President for Conservation and Animal Welfare
Jimmiel Mandima at IFAW
Deputy Vice President of Conservation
Executive Vice President
Executive Vice President
Matt Collis, Director, International Policy
Director, International Policy
Patrick Ramage, Program Director, Whales
Program Director, Marine Conservation
Rikkert Reijnen, Program Director, Wildlife Crime
Program Director, Wildlife Crime