Bruce H. Foerster, director of the West Coast Anti-Sealing Coalition, recently shared a few facts with Victoria, BC, broadcaster Bill Good who had said he didn’t have a strong opinion regarding the Canadian commercial seal hunt:
Ninety-five percent of seals killed during the commercial hunt are between 12 and 20 weeks old and are therefore babies.
Veterinarian reports ( commissioned by Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Coceans) confirm that approximately forty-two percent of seals are skinned while still conscious and therefore experience unfathomable pain and suffering.
These baby seals have no means of escape or defence whatsoever as they are not yet old enough to swim which makes calling this a “hunt” a misnomer. Only the word “slaughter” would accurately describe the Canadian commercial seal “hunt”.
The meat of these animals is almost never used. The pelt is ripped off the seal and the carcass is left to eventually rot on the ice.
The United States and more recently the European Union have banned seal imports from Canada for one reason and one reason only, that being that it is inherently cruel and cannot ever be made humane because of a number of limiting factors, one of which is the hostile environment in which the hunt takes place.
Sealing is not important or significant economically. In fact, the commercial seal hunt represents less than .05 percent of the gross domestic product for Newfoundland. Sealers typically earn less and often much less than $1,000 a year from their brutal exploitation of this frail and vulnerable species of animal.
Seals are increasingly threatened by climate change. The ice that they depend on to birth and to feed their young is disappearing at an astounding rate. The ice which normally forms in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and off Newfoundland’s east coast is simply not there this year and as a result infant mortality will inevitably skyrocket as seal pups are aborted in the water where they drown.
The Canadian commercial seal hunt has given Canada a serious “black eye” for many years and has created among other things a huge backlash both from tourists who refuse to visit a country which they see as “barbaric” and by seafood boycotts which are estimated to cost the country hundreds of millions of dollars each and every year, all for a dying industry which now brings in less than $15 million in total revenue.
The seal hunt is actually the largest slaughter of marine mammals in earth and has caused Canada to become “the most protested country on earth”. Every year in mid March demonstrations against the seal hunt are held in some 52 countries around the world and involved thousands of protesters who recognize the “hunt” for what it really is, that being the wholesale torture and slaughter of millions of innocent and defenseless baby animals.
I could go on ( and on ) giving you ever more facts on the commercial seal hunt but I realize that your time is limited and respect that. I would appreciate you considering these facts carefully. If and when you do, again ask yourself if you have a strong opinion on the commercial hunting of baby seals. My guess is that you will change your position on this as would anyone with even a single molecule of compassion anywhere within their soul.