275,000 Seals to Die After Hunt Begins March 28
The Canadian government set March 28 as the start date for the country's annual commercial seal hunt.
Sealing boats are already lining up in the Magdalen Islands off the Gulf of St. Lawrence, where the first phase of the hunt will take place.
The government announced that they will allow sealers to kill 275,000 harp seals—5,000 more seals than were slaughtered in 2007.
Wasteful and inherently inhumane, Canada's hunt is the largest slaughter of marine mammals on Earth, with hundreds of thousands of seals killed annually. The seals are killed for their fur, which is sold in European, Russian, and Asian fashion markets.
More than 95 percent of the seals killed each year are less than three months old. At the time of slaughter, many have yet to eat their first solid meal or take their first swim, and they are utterly defenseless against the hunters.
"Yesterday we were on the ice floes in the harp seal nursery," said Rebecca Aldworth, Director of animal programs for Humane Society International-Canada.
"Many of the pups were still covered in white fur. It is heartbreaking to know that this massive slaughter is set to begin in less than two days. The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International will be at the scene of the slaughter to bear witness to and document the cruelty," she said.
The HSUS and HSI document the cruelty of the commercial slaughter each year, acting as the eyes and ears of the world. This year, observers to the ice will also include journalists and world-renowned photographer, Nigel Barker.
Barker is just one of many public figures who have spoken out against the hunt. Others include Paul McCartney, Nobel-prize laureate John Maxwell “J.M.” Coetzee, and British actress Alison Steadman.
Read Rebecca's daily journal live from the ice here and click here to find out how you can help seals.