BREAKING VIDEO: CANADIAN PM JUSTIN TRUDEAU URGED TO STOP CRUELTY; BABY SEALS SHOT, BEATEN TO DEATH IN COMMERCIAL HUNT
On day nine of Canada's annual commercial seal hunt – the largest commercial slaughter of marine mammals in the world – Humane Society International Canada's Executive Director Rebecca Aldworth is calling on Prime Minister Trudeau to stop the cruelty she is witnessing on the ice floes off the coast of Newfoundland.
HSI is the only NGO documenting the seal slaughter, and just released disturbing photos and footage from this year's killing. Tens of thousands of harp seals – most just a few weeks of age – are being shot, clubbed and skinned for their fur, despite the fact that bans against trade in commercial seal products exist in 35 countries for animal welfare and conservation reasons, including the 28 European Union member states, the United States and Russia. With few markets remaining for commercial seal products, the sealing industry has previously stockpiled seal fur pelts in the absence of buyers.
Rebecca Aldworth of HSI Canada, said: "In the last 24 hours we have seen horrific cruelty, as we do every year at Canada's commercial seal slaughter. Baby seals, just weeks of age, are shot multiple times, left to crawl through their own blood. Others are impaled on metal hooks while conscious and dragged onto sealing vessels. The sealers then dump the carcasses into the ocean underscoring the cruelty and wastefulness of this slaughter for fur. This is my 18th year bearing witness to this atrocity, and that is why HSI Canada is calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to show leadership on this issue and put a final end to commercial sealing in Canada.”
With dwindling world markets for seal products, the Canadian sealing industry is banking on China to import the seal fur, oil and meat that other nations refuse to buy. HSI and Chinese animal group Beijing Capital Animal Welfare Association have joined forces to urge China to take a strong stand for seals by prohibiting commercial trade in their products.
HSI Australia has also consistently called on the Australian Government to prohibit the import of seal products from commercial hunts into Australia.
Alexia Wellbelove, Senior Program Manager for HSI Australia said, "This chilling footage further demonstrates the need for the Australian Government to take action and stop the import of seal products once and for all. We are also encouraging Australians to take action by writing to the Canadian Prime Minister urging him to stop the slaughter.”
New footage from the seal hunt video download
New photos download
HSI Australia is publishing daily updates Live from the Ice which can be seen at http://hsi.org.au/go/to/69/canadian-seal-hunt.html
- With more than two million seals killed since 2002, Canada's commercial seal hunt is considered the largest slaughter of marine mammals on Earth.
- The seals are killed for their fur and, because the skins of young pups are most valuable, 98 percent are less than three months old at the time of slaughter.
- Veterinarians have called the methods of commercial sealing "inherently inhumane” and argue that prohibiting seal product trade is the most effective way to reduce the killing.
- The United States, the 28 countries of the European Union, Mexico, Russia and Taiwan have all prohibited trade in products of commercial seal hunts.
- In 2013 and 2014, the World Trade Organization twice upheld the rights of nations to prohibit seal product trade for animal welfare reasons.
- HSI is now the only NGO documenting the commercial seal hunt in Canada and the evidence we gather each year is crucial for keeping seal product markets closed.
- HSI supports a fair transition program for the few hundred commercial fishermen who continue to hunt seals between other fishing seasons.