I am putting this page up for information for American and Canadian students, however I cannot write anything about Canada (the home of my ancestors) without saying here that I will not be returning to Canada or purchasing any Canadian products, including seafood until they abolish the annual
massive and barbaric Canadian Seal Hunt, every March, approx 385,000 baby seals,
that has inflamed people in many parts of the civilized world including the United States and the EU. It happens every March.
Canada's annual seal hunt is the largest slaughter of marine mammals on the planet, even worse than what the Japanese do, which is horrific. Did you see the academy winner "Cove"?
The Canadian government allows fishermen to club and shoot at least 354,000 newborn seals in the North Atlantic—almost all of them babies as young as 12 days—just to earn a few extra dollars by selling seal skins. In fact 98 percent of the seals killed were three months of age or younger, and veterinary reports indicate that many seals have been skinned while still conscious and able to feel pain.
My cousin (Newfoundland) tells me it is acceptable because "we have been doing this for 300 years." There are lots of things we used to do that we don't do as we become more civilized and hopefully, more humane. This is a practice that horrifies much of the western world.
Each spring, the seal hunt begins and more than 300,000 baby seals will be clubbed and killed. Investigating veterinarians found that in 42 percent of the cases they studied, the seals had likely been skinned alive while conscious.
This has to be done before their beautiful white baby coats turn dark, since the babies provide the fur for coats and other fashion attire, for purchasers in those parts of the world still barbaric enough to allow the importation of the fur.
Canada's annual commercial seal hunt is the largest commercial hunt of marine mammals on the planet. The other horrible one, at Nambian, involves the clubbing to death of about 90,000 baby seals per year.
Facing harsh criticism the world over because of the hunt's cruelty and unsustainability, the Canadian government and fishing industry have spread much misinformation. Here are the basic facts about the hunt.
There are several "approved methods of killing. The object is to leave the skins unmarked, so they have a greater market value.
It is important to note that each killing method is demonstrably cruel. Clubbing, and skinning alive is the method of choice. Because some sealers shoot at seals from moving boats, the pups are often only wounded. The main sealskin processing plant in Canada deducts $2 from the price they pay for the skins for each bullet hole they find—therefore sealers are loath to shoot seals more than once. As a result, wounded seals are often left to suffer in agony—many slip beneath the surface of the water where they die slowly and are never recovered.
Seals are killed primarily for their fur, which is used to produce fashion garments and other items. There is a small market for seal oil (both for industrial purposes and for human consumption), and seal penises have been sold in Asian markets as an aphrodisiac. There is almost no market for the meat, so seal carcasses are normally left to rot on the ice.
Canadian Seal hunt, more information
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