Tuesday, April 19, 2005


The world's largest commercial slaughter of marine mammals has begun. Canada's government is allowing fisherman to kill 975,000 harp seals - mostly pups - off Canada's East Coast.

I will spare readers most of the ghastly details of the hunt, but some details are necessary. Seal killers typically club, shoot or hack baby seals that are between the ages of 12 days to 12 weeks old. According to the Humane Society of the United States, an alarming number of seals are skinned while alive. Yet, none of this obscene animal cruelty is necessary, and the pelts provide minimal income.

Only about 4,000 people participate in this sickening carnival of carnage, and it has been determined that killing seals generates very little revenue for those who partake in this butchery. There is also no evidence that seals are jeopardizing the Canadian fishing industry: It appears that humans are the culprits, causing fish populations to decline because of over-fishing. The notion of "exploding" seal populations is another bogus rationale used by some people, but here again, there is no evidence of enormous seal herds rampaging out of control.

It is truly amazing how remorseless and vicious some people can be in their maltreatment of animals, and in some cases, other humans. Is it asking too much that seal killers control themselves enough to spare the lives of innocent seal pups? The Canadian government could - and should - outlaw this appalling event. Dozens of animal rights and environmental protection groups are opposing the seal hunt. For more information about the Canadian seal hunt, visit http://www.protectseals.org.