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The 2007 Seal Hunt Report

Slaughtered Very Young Seal Pup
Killed seal pup, about 2 weeks old. Photo (c) HSUS 2007

After killing about two thirds of the quota of seals, almost 100 sealing boats became trapped in the ice pack that formed off Newfoundland and Labrador from a low pressure system that moved through the area in mid-April.

The Canadian Coast Guard brought in ice breaker boats to rescue the sealers, but some of their own boats became stuck as well. They then began flying in supplies by helicopter. All this amounts to more taxpayer funding of the senseless cruelty known as the 'seal hunt.' Read more about the sealers' woes here.

As the year's seal victims got clubbed, shot, and skinned alive for their furs, you can rest assured that this shameful waste of life continues year after year for the same reasons it has for decades: fashion, vanity, greed, and politics... (fur coats and frivolous seal trinkets = mass death for vanity.)

Once again, a few thousand sealers, mostly from Newfoundland and Quebec have cast shame on Canada as they have smashed in the heads of hundreds of thousands more baby animals this year.

Spars Ice for Seals
Sparse ice with 2 lone seals. (c) HSUS 2007

Overall, the Canadian government said that sealers killed 224,745 seals in 2007. Keep in mind, this is in addition to the uncounted seals killed (those who were 'struck and lost') and in addition to the ecological disaster that took the lives of as many as a quarter million seal pups too young to swim. The massive drownings are the result of the abysmal ice conditions in the Gulf of St. Lawrence - the worst conditions in recorded history, and forewarn of what global warming will bring.

HSUS reported from the northern Gulf and the Front. No observers were allowed to witness the first phase, in the southern Gulf, which began April 2nd, and resulted in the deaths of over 800 pups, far fewer than usual. Most had already drowned.

It was so surprise to us that the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) ignored their own scientists' warnings of a potentially devasting and irreversable population crash of the harp and hooded seal herds in the coming years and announced another extremely irresponsible kill quota...

Seal Carcasses and Bloody Ice
Skinned seal carcasses, left to rot. Photo (c) HSUS 2007

In fact, they continue promoting this shameful slaughter with a "business as usual" attitude despite mounting world opposition and evidence that the seal population, like the polar bear population, is in jeopardy. This year, they are attempting to sway the European Commission delegation to their favor, in an effort to prevent a comprehensive seal product import ban into the European Union, but given their flaunting of the "Precautionary Approach" to ecosystem management, they may be hard-pressed to earn the delegation's rubber stamp.

Meanwhile, the taxpayers of Canada are also victims of this tragedy as they unwittingly fund the "hunt" by way of Coast Guard seal spotter planes and ice cutting services for the killers, government services designed to facilitate the slaughter in the seal nurseries- at no cost at all to the "industry" or to the small group of profiteers from this massacre.

And so, any hopes for "responsible resource management" or "sustainable ecological practices" (promised by the DFO) can be officially thrown out the window and abandoned.

Let's be clear: the DFO continues to promote the shameful act of systematically decimating a marine species and will continue to do so until the seals are gone or we stop it.

As the mantra goes, "If not you, who? ; If not now, when?"

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