Archive for Monday, November 20, 2006

Seal slaughter

November 20, 2006


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

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.

Adonia David,



geekin_topekan 11 years, 4 months ago

wouldn't the supply=demand reasoning come into play here? Why not make seal fur a controlled substance in the US?

janeb 11 years, 4 months ago

There is an embargo prohibiting Greenland; the larges trader of Seal Fur Coats from shhipping into the U.S and Canada. I am not sure what other countries join in this , but there are others. Additionally the Fashion indusry has been discourafged in production of items using any seal creatures.
I do not know anything about the restraunt industry and their part in boycotts, but would assume they have been approached. As far as i recall the Natinal Wildlife Federation has fought the clubbing but it has never ceased. I am sorry to hear this is on the rise again.

imastinker 11 years, 4 months ago

How do you skin an alive animal? I'd think it would be biting and stuff - probably pretty hard!

Further - what are we supposed to do about this? I don't live in Canada or hunt seals. I don't buy seal products either.

Savingseals 11 years, 4 months ago

Studies show nearly 80% of Americans oppose Canada's seal "hunt;" surely that applies to the good people of Lawrence. And as for what you can do, I believe Ms. David told you--stop buying seafood from Canada, which merely requires reading labels.

Seal products were outlawed in 1975. Other posters have supplied many credible web sites to provide additional information. As to "innocuous poster," you can dismiss the DFO website quite quickly. "Innocuous" is in the 20%.

There is plenty of footage out there to view, if you really need it. This is a no brainer. Kudo's to Ms. David.

Celeste Plitz 11 years, 4 months ago

You can't argue with the fact that there is plenty of solid evidence that this goes on. This, along with recent stories of dolphin slaughter in Japan and Whale slaughter in Iceland(check out saw stories on both today as a matter of fact) makes me sick. There is really no good reason to kill these animals-the killing methods are barbaric, and the excuses for killing them are pathetic. I boycott seafood anyway, as I believe the world's ocean creatures are in a very real danger of collapse, but this just adds one more reason to continue doing so.

Savingseals 11 years, 4 months ago

After spending much time as a student of the seal "hunt," I have learned time is better spent on the 80%, not the 20. It has nothing to do with honoring opinions from an opponent, it is about getting the job done.

If you don't care to help, then move on. Or is your time better spent trying to convince the 80% otherwise?

Question for those who don't care about this issue--did you visit the website provided by Ms. David?

There is not about shoving opinions down the throat of others, it is appealing to the decent people of Lawrence.

And couranna1, thankfully, the world is thinking! Council of Europe Calls for Ban of Seal Products in 46 Member Countries

Influential Political Body Asks Canada to Prohibit Cruel Seal Hunting Methods, Including Hakapiks and Guns

WASHINGTON (November 17, 2006) The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International today congratulated the Council of Europe for passing a historic resolution calling on its 46-member states to promote initiatives aimed at prohibiting trade in all seal-derived products, following the United States and Mexico precedents. The resolution also asks Canada to prohibit cruel seal hunting methods including the use of hakapiks and guns.

This historic resolution is another clear indication that global seal products markets are closing, said Rebecca Aldworth, director of Canadian wildlife issues for The HSUS. Many people believe Canadas commercial seal hunt will end soon, and the Canadian government must act now to ensure fisherman are adequately compensated through a fair sealing license retirement program

The Council of Europe, Europes oldest political organization, is an influential body with 46 member states, including Russia, Turkey, western European nations and 21 central and eastern European countries. Its political achievements include 200 legally binding European treaties and conventions. Canada and the United States hold observer status at the Council of Europe.

Governments around the world continue to show their opposition to Canadas commercial seal hunt.. In todays resolution, members of the Council of Europe wrote, The Assembly welcomes the declaration of 15 September 2006 by the European Parliament on banning seal products in the European Union requesting the Commission to immediately draft a regulation to ban the import, export and sale of all harp and hooded seal products.

Notably, no country has ever joined the European Union without first belonging to the Council of Europe.

Savingseals 11 years, 4 months ago

Two seconds on the DFO website, which I have studied:

The seal "hunt" is humane?

"Throughout my career as a veterinarian, I have seen animals die in slaughterhouses, research labs, and animal shelters, and I can assure you that the cruelty existing in the seal hunt would not be tolerated in these institutions."

Dr. Mary Richardson DVM, Animal Care Review Board, Solicitor-General of Ontario, after observing the 1995 hunt

Savingseals 11 years, 4 months ago

One more thing--well done, Marion. We will be celebrating together at the finish line, along with Ms. David.

Wallabe 11 years, 4 months ago

Ok, I don't like cruelty anymore than the next person, however, we are natural predators. This is probably going to continue to happen in the future so the only real hope that I have is that the brutality is minimized. I sympathize for those who care a great deal about this, but why not save the deer, cattle, or the small mouth bass. I eat them all and yes, I skin fish alive. Oh, Im sure being shot with a rifle or bow is much less painful. Whatever. Just because an animal is cute doesn't mean that it shouldn't harvested for food, fur, or other products that can be extracted from it!

If your interested I have provided a link for seal related recipes! Enjoy:


P.E.T.A. - People Eating Tasty Animals

Linda Endicott 11 years, 4 months ago

Why on earth would you skin fish alive, Wallabe? There's no reason to do that. You can kill them first. They're still edible.

That's pretty creepy, you know.

blessed3x 11 years, 4 months ago

I agree completely, the bloodshed must stop. I have heard stories of unborn baby seals being slaughtered while still in the womb and their lifeless bodies ripped from the mother.

Oh, wait...that's unborn human babies. Oh, well...that's okay then, but don't touch those darn baby seals!!


sunderam 11 years, 4 months ago

You know, I am really saddened by the comments I'm seeing. Why celebrate cruelty? It's not funny. Not in any form. It wasn't funny in Abu Ghraib, it's not funny in Guantanamo Bay, it's not funny when terrorists chop off people's heads with machetes. And it's not funny when an animal is skinned alive. True that - there are a heck of a lot of animals suffering in slaughter-houses every day so you can eat your meat. Enjoy it, but know it comes with suffering. I dont think the people interested in saving the seals ignore this suffering - have any of you actually visited the Humane Society's website? They acknowledge this cruelty too - and that directed at lab animal used to test our beauty products. But this seal battle has a chance to be won - to take a little cruelty out of the world. Do you honestly think, after seeing the comments here that anyone has a chance right now of shutting down factory farms? So people focus on what they can do. We can fight cruelty where we can. A lot of us don't eat meat anymore. A lot of us are ashamed of the torture our government has embraced. A lot of us care about ending cruelty where we can and doing what we can - Caring about cruelty towards animals doesn't mean we aren't also fighting cruelty towards humans. Go ahead and write those comments - sit there and do nothing and laugh at those who are trying. We'll keep on trying to make it a better place - frankly I'd rather be doing that any day than doing what you're doing.

Savingseals 11 years, 3 months ago

For those readers of at least average intellect, the seal hunt is about fur, not food. That is why the carcasses are left to rot on the ice.

Wallabe 11 years, 3 months ago

crazyks, how in the $%^@ do you propose killing a fish before you skin it? You are out of touch with reality. I knew there was a reason that I have a strong distaste for the liberal community.

You obiviously have don't fish much. Ok, the other option is to let them suffocate in a bucket of chlorinated water. Dead is dead any way you look at it.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.