1. Loyola Hearn’s lame, belligerent defense of the indefensible, barbaric seal hunts is a national disgrace.

  2. Hunting for seals is a livelihood for many atlantic canadians. There is nothing barbaic about the hunt. If it is, then we should stop all chicken, pig, and cow farms. How is that any different?

  3. Blugeoning and shooting hundreds of thousands of baby seals between the ages of 12 days – three months in just a few short days or weeks is not a “livelihood” for “many atlantic canadians”. It is supplemental income for people who spend the rest of the year fishing. The people involved in the sealing industry constitute less than 1% of the population of Newfoundland and Labrador and the money generated constitutes less than one half of one percent of Newfoundland’s GDP. The financial benefit from sealing is negligible and could easily be replaced with safer, sustainable alternatives for those currently involved in the sealing industry. Viable alternatives have been put forward in past years but government officials refuse to listen to reason, preferring instead to continue their obscene spending of unwilling taxpayers’ money on subsidizing and defending the indefencible.

    The Canadian commercial seal hunt is indeed barbaric. It is inherently inhumane and the very nature of the seal hunt precludes it from ever being made humane. I travelled to Newfoundland and observed the seal hunt in the northern Gulf this year, and can attest to that fact. Seals as young as 12 days old – almost completely covered with white fur – were shot and left to suffer on the ice for long periods of time. Alive and fully conscious seals were stabbed through the head with metal hooks and dragged off the ice and onboard the sealing vessels. Seals were beaten with illegal weapons – smashed in the face with gaffs as they lay wounded on the ice. Wounded and conscious seals were stockpiled on boats – thrown on a pile of bloody seal pups, some of which were still alive and moving. Absolutely NO sealers I observed palpated the skull or conducted the corneal reflex test that is required under the Marine Mammal Regulations and insisted upon by the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association to ensure seals are dead or incapable of regaining consciousness before they were hooked or dragged. I saw mortally wounded seals slip away into the water where they would drown or later die from their injuries. I saw absolutely no attempts being made to kill seals humanely.

    There was no regulation or monitoring by DFO when I was there. DFO monitoring is negligent at the best of times – sealing boats span thousands of miles during the seal hunt, and DFO’s resources stretch to a handful of Coast Guard vessels. It is impossible to monitor the seal hunt to ensure Marine Mammal Regulations are being followed and seals are being killed humanely. As a result, it is a free-for-all with sealers inflicting extreme cruelty on seals, resulting in an unacceptable level of suffering. I am sure nobody in good conscience would continue to defend this obscene practice if they witnessed it themselves.

    To those who are simply taking the word of government and the sealing industry that the seal hunt is “humane”, “closely monitored” and “tightly regulated” – I urge you to visit the following links to see and read the truth.

    For my eyewitness testimony see: http://www.antisealingcoalition.ca/blog/sealhunt2007.php

    For video from the 2007 seal slaughter go here and choose ‘Protect Seals’ from the side menu: http://video.hsus.org/


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