Canada’s Seal Slaughter Dying Off

Posted by 5 years ago | Permalink | Comments (26)

Harp Seal Sea Shepherd

© Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Since 1996, the Canadian government has poured millions of dollars a year into subsidising the commercial seal slaughter and marketing the fur and flesh of baby harp seals. But all that money isn’t doing any good – the seal industry continues to collapse.

Since the European Union banned the import of seal products in 2010, Canada has fought with it, the World Trade Organization and anyone else it could think of to have the ban overturned – so far without any luck.

Canada tried to go a different route, selling seal meat to China, also without any luck. After public outcry over the beating and skinning of baby seals drove the price of seal pelts so low that sealers could hardly cover their operating expenses, very few sealers took part in the 2011 slaughter and less than 10 per cent of the quota of 400,000 seals were killed.

Then, in December, the slaughter suffered one of its most crushing blows yet. Russia, Canada’s largest remaining market, banned the import of all harp-seal products. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has called seal slaughters a “bloody industry that should have been banned long ago”.

A month later, it became obvious that at least some Canadian officials were getting tired of sticking their heads in the sand, when Member of Parliament Ryan Cleary publicly questioned the slaughter. “Part of our history is also whaling, for example, and the day came when the whaling industry stopped. Now, is that day coming with the seal hunt? It just may be”, he said. “We know that the world appetite is not there for seal meat, but the world appetite for seal products—I don’t know if it’s there. And you know what? I may be shot for talking about this, and for saying this, but it’s a question we all have to ask.”

While pro-slaughter politicos may blast Cleary, they can’t deny the truth in his words. With markets drying up, dwindling numbers of sealers willing to kill for dismal profits and the majority of Canadians opposed to the slaughter, the time has come for the Canadian government to start funnelling money into helping sealers find other ways to make a living rather than trying to prop up a cruel industry that has garnered worldwide disgust.


  • Eveline van den Bossche commented on February 15, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    End the killings!!

  • Brien Comerford commented on February 17, 2012 at 1:27 am

    Let’s hope this hellish atrocity stops forever and the human demons who slaughter seals descend into perdition.

  • Gwyneth Humphreys commented on February 22, 2012 at 9:40 am

    I thought China was hell – this is truly evil – they should all hang their heads in shame – they cannot call themselves human carrying out this massacre. The Canadian Government absolutey disgusts me and many others – they really should open their eyes to what decent human beings want and try to be one of them.

  • Grady commented on February 24, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    We as CIVILIZED and humane beings must never ever give up the fight for all animals that cannot speak for themselves. We must be relentless in our pursuit to evolve this brutal Uncivilized societies to a civilized, compassionate and sympathetic to the causes for all animals and people worldwide. Let’s be the voice for the voiceless.

  • Cynthia Lyons commented on February 25, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    I thought it was China that was keeping the Market open for seal products,as the Chinese are notorious for cruelty to animals. eg. They eat practically all the creatures on this earth and kill the cats and dogs in a most inhumane manner. They wouldn’t care at all about the slaughter of the poor baby seals! What can we do about China ?

  • PAT ALLSOPP commented on February 25, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    It has to be thirty years at least since I first wrote to the Canadian Government expressing my horror at the barbaric slaughtering of baby Harp seals. I told them then that I would not purchase anything from Canada and have kept my word. I was then a miniscule voice but the news I have just read from Peta is the first time I can possibly see a light at the end of the tunnel. Well done Russia – at last some compassion being shown. If only China would follow suit and ban the collecting of bile from those poor bears. My heart bleeds for the animal kingdom, human beings are their worst enemy, that’s for sure.

  • Reverend Linda Price commented on February 25, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    Let’s take a step up the progress ladder of humanity and see animals as other beings who enhance our lives and our planet. They have as much right to the earth as we do. They also have the right to be treated with dignity and kindness. I’m proud to help the fight in my small way.
    Thank you to all who give your lives to making the world a kinder place. We see the many achievements you have made, and we can look forward to showing the cruel and the greedy that their days of profit making are coming to an end.

  • fiona vacha commented on February 25, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    All life is sacred and all living things are energetically connected. When we cause another pain, so we are hurting ourselves. Humans have much to learn but we are getting there! Keep up the fight fellow Peta members!

  • Alysha commented on February 26, 2012 at 12:09 am

    I am thrilled to hear that this brutal and heartless industry is dwindling down! ITS ABOUT TIME! The thought of those beautiful baby harp seals being beaten to death in a bloody massacre, makes me sick to my stomach! There is absolutely NO ROOM in this world for people who abuse animals! These “industries” that make money off beating and killing innocent animals, should be condemned and the people who murdered day in and day out be arrested and tried to the fullest extent allowed by law! ALWAYS BE A VOICE FOR ANIMALS-ALL ANIMALS!

    **Go vegan** 😀
    Alysha <3

  • Margaret Hayes commented on February 26, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    What do these monsters tell their children and wives as to how they make a living?

    I would imagine that no decent woman would wish to associate with men like this, and children would be ashamed to call them Dad. And quite right too! A Lysistrata action would stop the the B…..s!

  • Natalia Robba commented on February 26, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    What excellent encouraging news!! Surely we must be so close now right???

  • Colin Kirkpatrick commented on February 27, 2012 at 2:57 am

    It really is time for the Canadian government to display some backbone. This is a case of barbarism and the whole world sees it as such. The politicians who actually support this should feel shame.
    How grown men can actually do this beggars belief. There is no reason, no so called commercial need for this abominable murder of innocents.
    Stop defending the indefensible Canadian politicians!

  • Deb Kemp commented on February 27, 2012 at 7:19 am

    The Canadian government are obviously extremely stupid when it comes to the sealing issue. They have been constantly flogging a dead horse, so to speak, for years. Why are they and the killers the only people in the world who are not outraged by this industry? It’s not like the killers were making big bucks out of it. It must have been a case of political correctness to appease a bunch of inbred idiots who love to kill innocent animals. They were unconcerned even to the damage it was doing to their international reputation – more idiocy. Thankfully to the wonderful caring public these fools have been beaten, pardon the pun, and many beautiful seals will not have to die at the hands of these vermin. Thank you to you all.

  • Karen Hardy commented on February 27, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    Everything I feel about animal cruelty has been so eloquently expressed in all the comments I’ve read. I’m so thankful that there are so many people who, like myself, have unlimited love in their hearts for all animals, and are sickened by the seal cull and other such atrocities, and by those responsible. I’m sure we’ll achieve what we want, although I doubt that the scum who do these things will ever get what they truly deserve.

  • Teresa commented on April 21, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    I bunked off school 25 years ago and spent the afternoon in a bus, in Covent Garden. It was showing distressing videos of the reality of seal culling. A mother watching while her baby was dealt with and she was powerless to protect her.
    We must move forward as a species and develop.
    Financial reasons must not be accepted.
    There must be another way of making a living which is more profitable and acceptable?
    As to the decline in fish stocks, this must be maintained in an ecological way, which takes some vital resources OUT of the water but allows quantity to develop.

  • Richard Rowley commented on June 3, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    I deplore the seal hunt in Canada, and equally the yearly slaughter of dolphins in the Faroes, the whaling industry, and unnecessary cruelty to Sharks (shark fins) and the slaughter of elephants and rhino for their tusks and horns – mostly going to China. Other animals are nearing extinction, and governments as well as animal organisations need to bring international pressure to bear, just as they do to stop human trafficking, torture, starvation and disease.
    Richard Rowley

  • Rossella Finato commented on March 28, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    volete iniziare a cambiare?

  • Rossella Finato commented on March 28, 2014 at 10:51 pm


  • ahmet tuncay commented on April 15, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    you will stop.

  • Estela commented on July 4, 2015 at 6:05 pm

    Que se acabe de vez, os comportamentos bárbaros para abater as focas, e todos aqueles que violem as leis sejam severamente punidos.
    Espero ver muitas focas todas vivas por muitos e muitos anos.

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