Stop killing seals
People are continually fighting amongst themselves. There is also another war going on and that is the war against nature and against wildlife. All marine mammals are faced with extinction because of hunting, pollution and destruction of habitat and carrying capacity. There is no justification for waging this, the world's largest slaughter of a mammalian species. In addition the hunt is cruel, economically wasteful, and plain and simply obscene.
Are baby seals killed during the hunt?
Yes. A harp seal can be legally killed as soon as it has begun to moult its white hair, around 2 weeks after birth. The seal hunt is one of the very few hunts that occurs in the spring when young are being born. As a result, over 95% of the seals killed in the commercial hunt are between approximately 12 days and 4 months old. These young animals have poorly developed swimming skills and are reluctant to leave the ice, making them easy prey for sealers.
How are the seals killed?
Seal pups have traditionally been clubbed to death, but in recent years thinning ice has led to increased shooting on ice and in open water. When clubbing, sealers may only "stun" a pup, resulting in the skinning or bleeding of a live seal. Shooting also causes significant suffering. The Royal Commission on Seals and Sealing recognized it is extremely difficult to guarantee a clean kill when shooting at seals in the water or on moving ice floes. Seals are often wounded and escape to die under the ice. (These "uncounted kills" are not in included in government catch statistics.) Seal pups also suffer when they are caught on sharpened hooks and dragged aboard sealing vessels.
What happens to the meat of the seals after they are killed?
Most of the meat is wasted and left on the ice. Some if it is sold to fur farms and some is ground up into animal feed. A few thousand seal flippers are sold for human consumption in Newfoundland. There is a limited market for the seal penis to the Far East as some sort of voodoo quack remedy for impotence.
Why do they kill them with clubs? Why not use bullets?
Most of the younger seals are killed with clubs or hakapiks in order to not downgrade their pelts with a bullet hole. Since older seals are faster, more aggressive, and can swim, most are shot at a distance with high powered rifles to limit their efforts at escape. (unless it's a clean shot, most wounded seals will head for the nearest open water where they often will simply slip away under the ice and perish.)
Is there a blackmarket for any seal products?
With the exception of the seal penis bone market in Asia, there is not really a black market for seal products because there is little demand for them. However, whenever a sealer exceeds his quota, there are no legal consequences.
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