Friday, April 4, 2008

Canadian Commercial Seal Hunt: Largest Slaughter of Marine Mammals on Earth

The annual commercial seal hunt has begun in Canada. It is the largest mass slaughter of marine mammals on Earth. The number from last year was around 300,000.

In the first few days of this year's season, they have killed over 2000 seals. Apparently 95% of those killed are babies. They are killed for their fur, which ends up in fashion houses in Europe and Asia. Gucci and Versace are among the culprits.

Baby seals are often left on their own on the ice while their mothers go to feed. They are curious creatures who will approach a human who stands still. They are clubbed to death rather than shot, so as not to damage the valuable fur. The bloody carcasses are left on the ice. According to an independent panel of veterinary experts, who examined the carcasses in 2001, some of the baby seals did not show enough evidence of cranial injury to even guarantee unconsciousness – much less death – at the time of skinning.

I’m appalled and sickened by this. Most people here in the US I’ve talked to didn’t know it was still going on, and were horrified. Over 70% of Canadians are opposed to it as well. I learned all this from the Humane Society of the U.S., which has a petition and a list of suggestions as to what to do.

Public pressure apparently works, if slowly. According to the site, public pressure in Europe led to a strong statement from the European parliament. Although it fell short of a ban on seal products (such a ban on imports holds in the U.S.) it led to a drop in seal fur prices by 50%.

So it is important not to turn away in horror and try to forget about it. I haven’t been able to do so for days. Here is the site:

Homo Sapiens indeed.

No comments: