Thursday, March 27, 2008

Harp Seal Cull

(Photo credit: Hicker Photo)

The planet is full of murderers. Japan kills hundreds of whales with excuses ranging from scientific research to it being a part of their culture. Canada kills thousands of harp seals because their rural communities need the money and because they, too, call it tradition and part of their culture. What a bunch of blathering horse poop.

Color me stupid, but in today's technological age, there are literally thousands of ways one can make money from anywhere on the planet without having to club a seal pup to death.

Sea Shepherd is currently on it's way to Canada to attempt intervention on this years harp seal cull. Canada has set their quota this year to be around the 275,000 mark, with most of the seal pups being under 3 months of age.

Canadian Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Loyola Hearn says:

"Canada's seal hunt is humane, sustainable and responsible," the minister said. "A number of independent reports have supported this over the years, including the recent European Food Safety Authority report on the animal welfare aspects of global seal hunts."

How would Mr. Hearn feel if someone stood over him with a club and bashed his head in, all the while saying to him over and over "Killing you is humane, sustainable, and responsible."

People like this make me sick.

(Photo credit: Humane Society)

Canada has ordered Sea Shepherd to stay away from the seal hunt or face prosecution under Canadian Law.

Paul Watson states that he complies within the law and has the right of passage.

Just like there has been no scientific evidence that proves the Japan whalers are indeed killing whales for this purpose, the same applies to the killing of harp seals.


In its examination of Canada's commercial seal hunt, the European Food Safety Authority scientists found that:

  • there is strong evidence that, in practice, effective killing does not always occur
  • there is evidence that, during Canada's commercial seal hunt, animals suffer pain and distress
  • sealers often do not comply with the Canadian regulations in relation to manually checking the skull or administering a blinking reflex test
  • in contrast to current practice, attempts to kill seals should not be made where the seal does not pose a stable target or the sealer may be unbalanced, such as on shifting ice floes
  • seal hunts should be opened up to independent inspections without undue interference
The European Food Safety Authority, EFSA, concludes that seals should be recognized as sentient marine mammals that can experience pain, distress, fear, and other forms of suffering - not fish, as they are classified in Canada. It also recommends that seals should be protected from killing and skinning practices that cause them pain, distress, and avoidable suffering.

At least there are a growing number of countries who are protesting this culling and have created national bans on seal products. These currently include Belgium and the Netherlands and countries strongly considering this include Germany, Italy, and Austria.

While the hunt begins this Friday, there are delegates from Canada heading to Europe to lobby for their seal hunting industry. Canada could soon face sanctions on this from 27 nations.

I say sanction them up the butt and do it fast.

Meanwhile, let your voices be heard by sending a message to Canada's Minister of International Trade, David Emerson, below:

Take Action against the Canadian Harp Seal Cull




  1. I've always felt that the clubbing of seal pups is the most horrible example of vicious brutality. I've had some encounters with seals on my kayak and on land and I'm convinced that they're among the most intelligent of mammals. So, those poor cubs go through excruciating emotions as they are massacred.

  2. I wholeheartedly agree HM ... one can only hope that with the increasing international outcry and further bans of seal products in more nations, that the day will come soon that this culling will be outlawed.

    Thanks, as always, for taking the time to drop by and share your thoughts :-)

  3. Wow Canada must have a new Prime Minister. Apparently his name is Emmerson. Maybe someone should tell the Canadian people, Last time I looked his name was Stephen Harper. Next time if you are going to post a comment try and get the names right, it doesn't give the rest of the commentary much credibility.

  4. Hi Airbus,

    My apologies. I forgot to type in "Minister of International Trade" ... it was purely unintentional.

    I thank you for pointing it out to me and I have corrected my post to reflect this.

    As for the rest of the post lacking credibility b/c of this error, that's your prerogative to view it that way. Personally, I do not think making an unintentional error takes away from the heart of the post ...

    Thank you for taking the time to stop by and correct my mistake ...

  5. I've never witnessed how seal hunting is done as I'm living in the Asian country, but that photo of baby seal massacre really makes me sick! Over here, the main issue is shark finning and over-harvesting of sharks. Sigh. I wonder, when can all these stop once and for all?

  6. Hi Fish ..

    I've never witnessed it in person either, and I hope I never will. I'd probably take the club myself and chase the seal killers personally ...

    I've heard about shark finning .. and the over fishing issue ... Those are definitely other issues we all need to address .. I know Sea Shepherd is actively involved in preventing that as well ...

    I hope one day it does stop ...and that everyone wakes up and realizes the impact all of this destruction is having on our ecology worldwide ..

    Thank you for coming by Fish .. and taking the time to leave a comment .. hope to see you again :-)