Each year, in early Spring, harp seals migrate south to the east coast of Canada to give birth to their pups, where the hunters cruelly kill them as they lie helpless.
Seal pups between 3 weeks and 3 months of age are brutally shot, clubbed and skinned. Their carcasses are left to rot on the ice or dumped into the ocean.
Seals are dying needlessly for an industry that wouldn’t exist but for government subsidies. Most of the world no longer needs or wants seals products. Still the killing continues.
Facts about Canada’s Commercial Seal Hunt
About the Hunt
- Canada’s commercial seal hunt is the largest and most brutal slaughter of marine mammals on earth. Over the past fourteen years, over two and a half million seals have been killed for their fur.
- 97 percent of the seals killed were under 3 months of age and the majority was less than one month old. At the time of slaughter, many of these pups had not yet eaten their first solid meal or taken their first swim.
- In 2001, an independent veterinary panel studied the commercial seal hunt. They concluded that 42 percent of the seals examined may have been skinned whilst conscious.
The Economics of the Hunt
- In Newfoundland, where over 90% of sealers live, income from the seal hunt accounts for less 0.5 percent of the province’s economy. Less than one percent of Newfoundlanders participate in the seal hunt.
- Sealers are commercial fishermen who earn only a small fraction of their annual incomes from killing seals – the remainder is from commercial fisheries such as crab, shrimp and lobster.
- Newfoundland’s fishery has never been wealthier, earning $150 million more each year than prior to the 1992 cod collapse.
What the Public Thinks
- Nearly 70 percent of Canadians holding an opinion are opposed to the commercial seal hunt. (Environics Research, 2005)
- 79 percent of UK residents believe that the annual Canadian seal hunt should be stopped and 73 percent support a ban on the import of seal products into Britain. (Opinion Research Business, 2005)
- 95% of people in the Netherlands deem the Canadian commercial seal hunt to be unacceptable and 92% support a ban on the trade in seal products. (Dutch Institute for Public Opinion and Market Research, 2005)
- 91 percent of people in Germany and 80 percent of people in France who are aware of the Canadian seal hunt oppose it. (MORI, 2002)
- 79 percent of American voters oppose Canada’s seal hunt. (Penn, Schoen & Berland, 2002)
Who has banned Canadian seal products
- The European Union banned the import of seal products in 2009;
- Other countries with bans include: USA, Russia, Mexico, Taiwan.
Year by year breakdown
|Year||Harp Seals||Grey Seals|