To the editor:
As a child, I remember hearing about the annual Canadian seal slaughter where sealers clubbed baby harp seals. I remember the pictures of the defenseless pups and how relieved I was to learn that the "hunt" had been stopped.
I was horrified a couple of years ago to learn that the hunt was being conducted again. I was even more horrified when I did some research on my own and found that an estimated 42 percent of these animals, some as young as 12 days old, are skinned alive while conscious. This is not a humane "hunt" as many would have us believe. It is cruel and terrible. Video is available on the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) Web site.
In an effort to stop the slaughter, after decades of negotiation, HSUS, along with other organizations worldwide, has spearheaded a boycott of Canadian seafood. The "hunt" is conducted by off-season fishermen, and Canada makes far more profit from its seafood than it does from the sealing. Thousands of individuals and restaurants have joined the boycott. For a complete list of the number of participants, visit www.restaurantsforseals.org.
This slaughter will start again in the spring if enough pressure is not brought to bear to stop it. In past years, over 300,000 baby seals have been killed each spring. It is the largest massacre of marine mammals on the planet and its consequences could be far-reaching. It is inhumane. It is horrifying.