Each year, the Canadian government sponsors the killing of hundreds of thousands of seals. Government-subsidised sealers butcher and maim thousands animals more; but their victims never appear in the official statistics. This is because the seals are wounded and never recovered. They suffer agonised and lingering deaths.
The Canadian authorities pay the sealers twenty cents for every pup they can kill. The baby seals are clubbed to death in scenes of medieval cruelty. The weapon used is a club, the brutal hakapik. Sometimes the seals are skinned alive.
Sealers often use sharpened steel hooks to drag the creatures on board their vessels. This practice is illegal, but using the hooks saves the killers time. It also causes horrific suffering to their victims.
How does the Canadian government try to rationalise its cruelty?
Seal-clubbing is justified, we learn, because its victims are adversely affecting the profits of the Newfoundland fishing industry.
Human callousness has few limits.
What can the rest of do to stop the atrocities? Often, alas, very little. But until the slaughter is called off, we can boycott the Canadian tourist industry and Canada's tainted food-exports.
Will the Government listen?
Possibly not. But moral arguments are sometimes easier to appreciate when they coincide with financial self-interest.
Animal Rights ResourcesCanadian Sealers Association
"A bright new future for a traditional industry"
The Government of Canada
Canadian Tourism Commission
The Canadian Tourist Board: perspectives on clubbing baby seals
Animal Rights ResourcesPETA
Animal Rights FAQ
Hunt Saboteurs Association
League Against Cruel Sports
Animal Liberation Front FAQ
The Post-Darwinian Transition
The Last Twisted Molecule On Earth
International Fund for Animal Welfare