Brutal Seal Hunting Continues in Canada

NOTE: This is a guest blog post fromRebecca Aldworth, Executive Director at HSI Canada.

Each year, mother seals migrate to the sea ice off of Canada’s east coast to give birth to their pups. The harp seal nursery that forms is one of the most breathtaking and peaceful wildlife spectacles on earth, and tourists travel from all over the world to see it.

Tragically, days later, commercial fishermen armed with clubs and guns invade the nursery and beat and shoot to death every pup they find. In fact, more than 98% of the seals killed in Canada’s commercial seal hunt are pups under just three months of age. They are slaughtered for their skins, which are used for fashion. The killing causes immense suffering, with the baby seals routinely impaled on metal hooks, dragged across the ice and cut open while conscious.

Because the overwhelming majority of Canadians oppose the seal hunt, most of the seal furs are exported. As a result, many nations are taking action to stop the global trade in seal products, including our largest trading partners, the United States and the European Union. In 2011, the Russian Federation ended its trade in harp seal skins — the primary product of the commercial seal hunt.

While closing markets are fast removing the financial incentive for sealers to kill seals, climate change is providing an equaling compelling reason to stop the killing. Harp seals, like polar bears, are ice dependent animals, and their sea ice habitat is literally melting from under them, causing massive mortality.

Humane Society International is urging the Canadian government to protect the seals — and sealing communities — by implementing a buyout of the commercial sealing industry. This plan would involve the government ending the seal hunt, providing immediate compensation to sealers, and investing in economic alternatives. Polling shows about half of the sealers are already in support of this idea.

But instead of this constructive move forward, the Canadian government authorized a massive quota of 400,000 harp seals this year. Then the Newfoundland government provided $3.6 million in financing to a seal fur buyer to pay sealers to kill baby seals so their skins can be stockpiled.

Still, there is hope. Every day, people from all over the world are adding their voices to the call for a buyout of the Canadian sealing industry. The idea is rapidly gaining support within the federal government and the sealing communities. An end is in sight, but we need your help now more than ever.

Please join with Humane Society International and the Humane Society of the United States as we work to restore peace to the ice floes — forever.

Humane Society International is one of the only international animal protection organizations in the world working to protect all animals — including animals in laboratories, farm animals, companion animals, and wildlife — and our record of achievement demonstrates our dedication and effectiveness.

Photo courtesy of HSI.


Linda F.
.2 years ago

2013 Historic High Seal Hunt Quota Set
Sealers authorized to kill 408,200 seals, despite a lack of markets
In the face of closing global markets for seal products, the DFO's decision defies scientific advice and logic. — Humane Society International/Canada condemns the irresponsible 2013 seal hunt quota set by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, which allows for the slaughter of 408,200 harp and hooded seals. The Fisheries Minister has ignored the advice of government and independent scientists and put politics before conservation.The world community is rejecting products of this cruel and outdated slaughter. The Canadian government should introduce a federal sealing industry buyout, rather than encouraging sealers to club and shoot hundreds of thousands of defenseless baby seals.”
Taiwan passed a historic ban on the trade in marine mammal products, including Canadian seal products, the EU, Russia, the USA and other nations have also implemented prohibitions on the trade in seal products.
With global markets for seal products closing fast, Canada increasingly stands alone in its promotion of the seal slaughter. A federal buyout of the commercial sealing industry would compensate fishermen for lost income and promote the development of economic alternatives in the communities involved.

Most Canadians want the commercial seal slaughter to end, and oppose the Canadian government using tax dollars to promote the sealing industry.
50 % of Newfound

Gerald M.
Past Member 3 years ago

Just another average Canadian here.
Ashamed of Harper et al with their destructive and reckless attitude towards the environment and of course their disdain for the wants of the majority of Canadians.
Oh yes, also against the spending of OUR money to support a killing industry.

Manel Dias
Manel Dias3 years ago

CANADA ...STOP THIS GRUESOME MASSACCRE OF THESE INNOCENT SEAL PUPS. THIS GRISLY & DISTURBING MASS MURDER OF SUCH BEAUTIFUL ANIMALS IS TOTALLY SCHOKING. Who ever is encouraging these ruthless inhumane brutal killings of Seals in return should suffer the endless sufferings and pains. These evil killers are mentally deranged & obviously needed to have a Bounty on them. CANADA...STOP THE SLAGHTER OF SEALS people & the politicians who think this is the way they need to earn foreign exchange are just plain idiots. Shame on Canada.

Alicia Blumenkron

Es un terrible derramamiento de sangre; el sufrimiento de esos bellos e inocentes animales es algo que hace muchos años debio haber terminado.
Las pieles de animal, cualquiera que este sea deben quedar prohibidas para la moda.
Los diseños de moda, bien se pueden hacer con pieles sintéticas que por cierto cubren muy bien del frío, dejando a los animales conservar su vida y su piel; viviendo en su propio entorno.
Tengamos más compasión y más consciencia!!! POR FAVOR es tiempo de cambiar.

Alicia Blumenkron

Es un terrible derramamiento de sangre; el sufrimiento de esos bellos e inocentes animales es algo que hace muchos años debio haber terminado.
Las pieles de animal, cualquiera que este sea deben quedar prohibidas para la moda.
Los diseños de moda, bien se pueden hacer con pieles sintéticas que por cierto cubren muy bien del frío, dejando a los animales conservar su vida y su piel; viviendo en su propio entorno.
Tengamos más compasión y más consciencia!!! POR FAVOR es tiempo de cambiar.

Patricia J.

Please source all the claims you made in that statement.

Mark Donner
Mark Donner4 years ago

Just one example of the same tired propaganda "oh poor us we're not clubbing the heads of whitecoat babies, we had remorse for our bloodbath on whitecoats so we changed to non whitecoats", sorry to spoil your fun, but at least 42% of the babies killed (and they are just babies, they are just over two weeks old when they change their coats and still unable to eat solid food or swim) are are still conscious when skinned, in other words they are skinned alive. No Canadian criminal involved in this pays attention to laws, and the their laws are a front and a sham. Over 660 cases of documented/FILMED cases of cruelty were presented to the European commission, including illegal bashing of white coats, skinning alive and illegal weapons. A large number of wounded and maimed seals not reported in the kill count escape and slip beneath the ice to die a long and agonizing death. Year after year, Canada is guilty of horrific crimes with bloody scenes repeating over and over of mother seals screaming and crying trying to protect and revive the bloodied bodies of their cubs against the relentless and cruel Canadians. And nobody does this factory cruelty on millions of seals to "survive" they're not Inuit eskimos and you know it, they're white thugs supported by government thugs trying to market fur to Asia (and failing in their bloody profits nobody wants to be associated with Canadian crimes) so don't try that one again.

Mark Donner
Mark Donner4 years ago

Anne M is literally a lying psychopath government shill.. Canada is full of those these days. Especially with global environment terrorist Harper, Canada is has become a cruel, savage hell on earth. Wake up, canadian monsters, the entire world has seen through your repeated government propaganda lies and banned and boycotted you. That includes ALL Europe, the Russian states, the US for ten years, even Mexico knows what Canada really is and has banned you. We know about the savage cruelty and unlimted greed of the gang of Newfoundland thugs that you and your bloodsucking criminal ministers support and subsidize for votes. Canada is a vampire and destroyer of the world environment and deserves to be isolated and condemned. Calling these bloodbath atrocities on our world's wildlife a "hunt" so Harper can run over to Communist China and peddle his crimes does not excuse those crimes one bit. Any vicious person who excuses this Canada atrocity should be forced to drink Harper's filthiest oil on earth tar sands until he chokes.

Diane L.
Diane L.4 years ago

True enough, Anne, but the seal hunts that we are addressing are not just the few that are taken for food and necessities by the Inuit or other First Nations cultures for their survival. The hunt that most want to see STOPPED is the brutal clubbing of newborns which yes, have white coats and are slaughtered in a very inhumane and brutal way in front of their mothers. If it was a matter only of killing seals for their oil or blubber to survive, why not adults and why not with a bullet to the head?

Anne Mcleod
Anne Mcleod4 years ago

I am tired of people signing these petitions without knowing the facts! Every petition that has anything to do with seals shows the adorable face of a whitecoat -- this is misleading and a deliberate attempt to gather sympathy based on emotions alone, NOT FACTS. Killing whitecoats has not been allowed in Canada since 1987. The seals are not killed only for their skins (which are used for their warmth & waterproof characteristics more than fashion) -- the oil is used for industrial and medicinal purposes and the seals are an important foodsource in Newfoundland and Northern Canada. The seal population is not endangered, and actually tripled from the 1970s to 2006.

Anyone who is actually interested in the facts should read the letter at the following link:
I could not personally kill a seal (or any other animal larger than a spider), but I cannot condemn someone else for using a humane method of hunting, fishing, farming, etc.for their livelihood. Otherwise, I would be signing petitions to protect the fish (some of which are endangered -- partly due, in the past, to seals), the cattle and other livestock, the rabbits & deer, etc. Funny how I don't see many of those -- I guess their just not cute enough.

Anyone who is truly concerned with the seals should try reducing their greenhouse gas emissions which are causing ice floes to melt early. The seal pups are born on the ice floes and, when they