Canada: Stop Slaughtering Helpless Seals!

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Sponsor: The Animal Rescue Site

Tell the Canadian Prime Minister to put an end to this barbaric seal hunting tradition.


Hundreds of thousands of Canada's seals are killed in barbaric hunts every year, in which hunters beat helpless animals to death with clubs or shoot them from boats.

Baby seals have no way to escape the slaughter. Hunters begin to target seals as soon as they lose their iconic white fur at just a few weeks of age. Most of the seals are between 3 weeks and 3 months old when they are killed.

The seals are killed primarily for their pelts, for use in the fur and oil industries1. However, the fishermen who perform these hunts make on average just one-twentieth of their incomes from seal hunting2. This is not their livelihood. In fact, the Canadian seal industry is far less lucrative today than it was even decades ago. In 2016, sealing generated only $1.6 million in sales, down from $34 million in 2006, according to Canada's Department of Fisheries and Oceans3. That year, 5,600 sealers participated in the hunt; now there may be no more than a few hundred.

The number of seals hunted has been in steep decline over the past 15 years. While in the early 2000s, sealers regularly killed around a third of a million seals a year. By 2020, during the COVID pandemic, only 440 seals were reported killed in Newfoundland during the entire 2020 commercial hunt, the lowest year for the hunt on record1.

"We are so close to ending this," said Staci McLennan, IFAW's EU Director1. "We continue to urge the government of Canada to stop supporting this dying industry and heed the public outcry to bring an end to the seal hunt once and for all."

Despite protests, Canada continues to host the seal hunt, endorsing a disappearing industry that many nations around the world consider superfluous and barbaric.

Canada's government has done nothing to combat this terrible cruelty. In fact, not only does the government help sponsor the hunts, writes Andrew Linzey in Michigan State University's Animal Legal & Historical Center, it also subsidizes and promotes them4.

Meanwhile, buzz around the need for seal products is merely marketing from the fishing industry, tricking the public into thinking the hunts are necessary. The truth is that demand for seal products is declining, there is little commercial demand for seal meat, which is often discarded on the ice, and seal hunting is not a desperately-needed livelihood2.

The sealing industry survives only with the Canadian government's financial support, but it doesn't have to. Sign the petition below telling Canadian Prime Minister to put an end to Canada's seal massacre once and for all.

More on this issue:

  1. International Fund for Animal Welfare (April 2021), "2021 Canadian commercial seal hunt begins despite pandemic, public outcry and steep decline in demand."
  2. Jani Hall, National Geographic (5 April 2017), "Demand For Seal Products Has Fallen—So Why Do Canadians Keep Hunting?"
  3. Government of Canada (1 March 2016), "Statistics on the seal harvest."
  4. Andrew Linzey, Michigan State University College of Law (2006), "An Ethical Critique of the Canadian Seal Hunt and an Examination of the Case for Import Controls on Seal Products."
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The Petition:

Dear Prime Minister of Canada,

I am outraged at Canada's bloody commercial slaughter of innocent seals. Each year, these precious creatures fall prey to the hands of selfish hunters—fisherman who use rifles and clubs to beat and kill seals. Baby seals are often the first to be targeted.

It's bad enough that seals are facing new challenges with global warming depleting their environment and food resources. The seal population is suffering greatly as a result of climate change, yet Canadian seal hunters pay no mind and forge ahead with their inhumane and savage attacks.

What's worse is that seals are being killed mainly so that their pelts can be sold to fashion houses. The fishermen who perform these hunts make an average of one-twentieth of their incomes from seal hunting—this is not their livelihood, and they have no regard for the future of the seals or what their actions could mean for the future of our planet.

We have a responsibility to take care of our environment and the creatures that inhabit it. The Canadian seal slaughter demonstrates some of the most environmentally unsustainable and blatantly inhumane actions imaginable. We cannot allow this savage practice to continue. Please take the necessary steps to ensure this barbaric hunt comes to a halt, permanently.

Sincerely,

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Signatures: