General Article Why commercial sealing is cruel

Topic Selected: Animal Rights
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Seal hunting in Canada

Each spring off the East Coast of Canada, hunters take their boats into dangerous waters or rush across moving ice pans in attempts to kill as many baby seals as possible in the short time available. Seal pups, most too young to escape, are either shot or hit with a spiked wooden club called a hakapik.
Although the Canadian Government compares the commercial seal hunt to the killing of farm animals, they have little in common. Unlike abattoirs, the commercial slaughter of seals takes place in an unpredictable, unmanageable environment where humane killing is impossible to achieve consistently.
IFAW believes Canada’s commercial seal hunt can never be made acceptably humane. Here’s why:

1. Competitive, commercial pressures make speed more important than humane killing.

The seal hunt is effectively a race between sealers to collect as many skins as possible before the quota is reached. Sometimes as many as 150,000 seals have been killed in two days. Under such c...

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