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Canadian Seal Hunt      

Seal Hunt


Thousands of harp seal pups are in danger of slaughter on the ice floes of Eastern Canada. Undeterred by seal pups drowning in their melting habitat, the Canadian government continues to sanction even more killings – the largest slaughter of marine mammals on the planet!

More than 2 million seals have been killed in the last 10 years. Most of these animals were just days or weeks old, and forced to endure incomprehensible cruelty. The last time this many seals were killed, the harp seal population was reduced by as much as two thirds within a decade.

Independent scientists have warned that reckless kill levels authorized by the Canadian government, paired with the impacts of climate change on the ice dependent harp seals, poses a serious threat to the survival of harp seal populations. In 2010, the sea ice simply didn't form in key seal birthing areas. For ice breeding harp seals, it is a disaster. When the sea ice doesn't form, many mothers are often forced to abort their pups in the water. When the ice that does form is too thin and fragile, pups are forced into the open water before they are old enough to survive there.

The harp seals' sea ice habitat is literally melting from under them.

The hunt is opposed by the overwhelming majority of people in Canada and around the world, and governments are increasingly taking action on behalf of their citizens. In 2007, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a unanimous resolution calling on the Canadian government to end the commercial seal hunt. Last year the European Union voted to prohibit trade in seal products and Russia announced a complete ban on the slaughter of seals younger than 1 year old. In the United States, a boycott of Canadian seafood products that will continue until the seal hunt is ended has gained the support of more than 5,000 establishments and 600,000 individuals, costing the Canadian economy many times the value of the commercial seal hunt.

How you can help to end the cruel Canadian Seal Hunt

Read More about the Background to the Canadian Seal Hunt


You can help to put an end to the slaughter of baby seals. Email the Canadian Prime Minister, and urge him to put an end to the hunt! Click here  

Live from the Ice 2016


Canada's commercial seal hunt is set to begin its 2016 season. The hunt is the largest slaughter of marine mammals on Earth. Shot or clubbed mainly for their fur, defenseless pups die a cruel death. HSI is again sending a team to the ice to document the cruelty, and is the only team to do so. It is the 18th year that HSI Canada's Rebecca Aldworth is witnessing the cruelty first hand.   Our Protect Seals team works year-round to shut down the commercial sealing industry—we are successfully helping to close global markets for seal pelts, and we are working to ensure that the European Union's ban on trade in products of commercial seal hunts stays strong. 

All latest news from the 2016 Live from the Ice will be updated below as it comes in.

April 26

12 days into the 2016 seal hunt and 50,857 seals have been slaughtered

April 22

Earth Day - 42,000 baby seals slaughtered so far

Seal pup looks on as the slaughter continues (c) Michael Bernard HSI

Sealer dragging impaled pup along the ice (c) Rebecca Aldworth HSI/Canada


April 20th

BREAKING VIDEO: Canadian PM Justin Trudeau Urged to Stop Cruelty; Baby Seals Shot, Beaten to Death in Commercial Hunt

Click here to read the Media Release 

April 19th

33,658 seals have been slaughtered in the 2016 hunt

April 14th  

More than 2 million seals have been killed in the last 10 years, with another 468,000 seal pups due to be slaughtered this year.

Read our Media Release - Canada’s Commercial Seal Hunt Begins, HSI Witnesses Slaughter on the Ice   













Live from the Ice 2014


This year, Canada’s Fisheries Minister has set a quota of 400,000 baby harp seals to be slaughtered. On the 14th April Rebecca texted the dreaded news: the baby seal slaughter has begun, and the situation is dire.

Unbelievably, the Canadian government claims that the killing is humane and closely monitored. But out on the ice, we counted 11 sealing boats with zero enforcement. From what we saw, the slaughter is entirely unregulated.


On 22nd May the World Trade Organization made a decision to uphold the European Union’s ban on products of commercial seal hunts, keeping one of the largest markets closed to this cruelty. In the past five years alone, the European Union ban has saved more than 1.6 million baby seals from a horrible fate, and today’s news proves we’re one step closer to ending this slaughter forever.

Rebecca has reported that as of the 8th May, 49,705 seals have been clubbed, shot and skinned for their fur.

historic wto ruling upholds eu ban on seal product trade

22nd May 2014 click here

view HSI's infographic which details all the latest figures About the canadian seal hunt 

28th April 2014 click here

video - the seals that got away

28th April 2014 click here

video- canada starts annual seal hunt

16th April 2014 click here

Massive 2014 seal hunt quota confirms importance of seal product trade bans

26th March 2014 click here

Live from the Ice 2013

Executive Director of Humane Society International / Canada, Rebecca Aldworth is posting daily updates during this year' s seal hunt. This marks Rebecca' s 15th year observing the cruel and unnecessary Canadian seal hunt first hand.


The 2013 commercial seal hunt off the Newfoundland coast in Canada has finally come to an end with over 800 hunters taking the lives of more than 80,000 harp seals for their fur, with most of them less than 3 months old. According to the Seals and Sealing Network, the industry was aiming to “harvest” 100,000 seals this year, but the total allowable catch was never released by the Canadian government prior to the opening of the hunt. In 2012 around 680 sealers took part in the hunt and killed more than 70,000 seals – their quota was 400,000. The previous year saw the brutal killing of 38,000 harp seals, less than 10 per cent of the total allowable catch. Click the links below to learn more about the background of the Canadian Seal Hunt and find out how you can help put an end this cruel trade.


Live from the Ice 2013 - Taking our Evidence Worldwide
April 30th 2013 click here

Live from the Ice 2013 - Markets for Seal Products are closing
April 23rd 2013 click here

Live from the Ice 2013 - Baby Seal Dies in Stages
April 18th 2013 click here

Live from the Ice 2013 - Scenes of suffering from Canada's Seal Slaughter
April 16th 2013 click here

Live from the Ice 2013  Boats in the fog, seal blood in the water
April 11th 2013 click here

Live from the Ice 2013 - Grounded, but the Slaughter Continues
April 10th 2013 click here

Live from the Ice 2013 - Canada's barbaric Seal Slaughter
April 9th 2013 click here

Live from the Ice 2013 - One Million Seals Saved, but the fight continues
April 1st 2013 click here

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