Thursday, April 12, 2012

Canada: Canada's seal cub clubbers to butcher 400,000 pups

seal hunting in Canada
Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

The sheer cruelty of hacking a defenceless seal cub to death as it lies floundering helplessly, trying desperately to lollop its way into the sea, away from some psychopath with a hakapik who is going to bludgeon it to death smashing its brains all over the ice defies human logic or any degree of humane thinking. Welcome to Canada.

This horrific time of year has come around again and one more time, Canada's seal cub clubbers are rampaging around on the ice, these apologies for men and human beings participating in a frenzied orgy of violence which would make any human being sick to the stomach and profoundly disturbed for years to come.

The quota for this year's cull is no less than 400,000 (four hundred thousand) seal pups, the same as in 2011. Sure, as always, there will be howling and screaming from the Canadians, there will be hung-over radio hacks vying for interviews claiming that Georgia was attacked by Russia and probably that there are pink elephants climbing up the walls and there will be self-righteous bullshit from those in Canada who think killing seal cubs is cool, because it's good for them, what?

So, before they come on here saying it is the same as killing cows or pigs, and before they come on here saying that it is for the seals' own good, let us examine the facts. Why, if it is good for the seals, do they skin them alive for the pelts and throw the carcass, still quivering and moving, the eyes blinking in sheer terror and agony, onto the ice? Or lying under a pile of half-dead cubs in a boat?

Eye-witness from the 2010 cull: "Several minutes later the small paw reached up again, waving and clenching in pain." Welcome to Canada.

Now how cool is that in Canada? And I rightly say "Canada", not wishing to forget those Canadians who are as horrified by the seal cub hunt as everyone else in the world community, but remembering the fact that countries and people are judged on what they allow their authorities to get away with.

And it is clear that the Canadian authorities have their heads up their anatomies. Article 33.1 of the Canadian Marine Mammal Regulations stipulates that "Every person who fishes for seals for personal or commercial use shall land the pelt or the carcass of the seal". So what about the carcasses left half-alive on the ice? Where is the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans?

Eye-winess from the 2011 cull: "This bloodied and suffering seal pup waved its flipper over and over as the sealers continued piling hunted seals on the boat." Welcome to Canada.

"According the Department of Fisheries and Oceans' own data, the landed value of the commercial seal hunt was only $1.3 million in 2010, with exports valued at a mere $2.1 million. Yet taxpayers will spend an estimated $10 million to challenge the European Union ban on seal products at the World Trade Organization, an estimated $1 million is spent each year on attempts to monitor the commercial hunt, and hundreds of thousands are spent annually to develop seal products and promote them overseas" (IFAW).

"A seal pup just three weeks young lays peacefully on a small ice pan.

A ship approaches, crashing through the waves and ice and pausing a few feet away. A rifleman steps to the rail and levels his gun. The seal has no chance.

A moving boat is not the ideal platform from which to make a proper shot, so the seal may only be injured. If she's not too injured to move, she'll crawl and slip off the ice and die in the frigid water below. If she can't escape, she'll be beaten with a spiked club and then sliced open with a knife - sometimes while still alive.

This scene will be repeated over and over this April - tens of thousands of seals will suffer brutal and bloody deaths" (IFAW).

How cool is that in Canada?

Find out more about the unspeakable cruelty of the Canadian harp seal hunt and how you can make a difference. The Canadians obviously can't. Or won't. Let the seal cub being clubbed to death and thrown half-alive, callously, into a pile of quivering, yet still terrified, baby seals be the symbol of Canada until the decent thing and bans the hunt.