Posted on 04/13/11 at 6:32am by
CORNERBROOK, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR--(Marketwire -
April 13, 2011) - The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) is off
the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador documenting the commercial seal hunt,
and on the opening day of the hunt filmed many apparent violations of the
"We have ample evidence that the three-step process to
ensure humane killing is not being followed. Neither the test for
unconsciousness, nor bleeding out to ensure death, is being conducted" said
Sheryl Fink, Director of IFAW's Seal Program, "As a consequence, we filmed
the horror of a live seal pup being sliced down the belly while likely still
conscious, and tossed ruthlessly in the bottom of a boat. For several
minutes, the pup makes what appear to be directed, conscious flipper waving
and clenching movements as bodies of other seals are piled on top of it."
The three-step process stipulates that animals should be killed with a
club, hakapik or rifle, tested to determine that the animals are unconscious
and then bled to ensure death.
Marine Mammal Regulations also require that a sealer retrieve either the
pelt or carcass of animals killed during the commercial seal hunt.
"We have documented evidence of seal pups about three weeks of age being
killed and left on the ice - skins intact - a clear violation of the law and
an unethical and unacceptable waste of wildlife" said Fink.
is the enforcement? Where is the monitoring?" demanded Fink, "When sealers
flagrantly ignore the regulations when they are being filmed, I shudder to
imagine what happens when no one is watching."
insists that the hunt is both humane and vital to the economy of local
communities. IFAW repeatedly documents cases like these that clearly
demonstrate that the commercial seal hunt is not humane and that the rules
are frequently ignored. The group also points out that this year sealers are
replacing seal hunting with more lucrative crab fishing, which demonstrates
that the seal hunt industry can be easily replaced.
absolutely no reason for this slaughter to continue. There is no money to be
made, and one sealer was quoted as saying the hunt is now being conducted
simply for 'sport'. The Government of Canada should admit that the seal hunt
is cruel, that it is unnecessary, and they should end it immediately. What
we have observed so far this year is simply unacceptable - there is no more
room for excuses."
In addition to the fact that the commercial seal
hunt is cruel and inhumane, it is also a waste of Canadian taxpayer dollars.
The landed value of the 2010 commercial seal hunt was just over $1 million
in 2010, yet the Canadian government spent an estimated $2.3 million to
IFAW (International Fund for Animal
Welfare) was established in 1969 and its founding campaign was in opposition
to Canada's commercial seal hunt. IFAW has more than 40 years of experience
raising awareness, documenting and opposing the cruel commercial hunts for
seals in Canada and around the world.
For more information on the
campaign read IFAW's blog, visit our website and follow us on YouTube,
Twitter and Facebook or to take action to protect seals visit IFAW's action
Editors: Still images and broadcast quality video b-roll
related to Canada's commercial seal hunt are available and seal hunt
observers are available for media interviews.
- Images and video will
be delivered via www.ifawimages.com as they are obtained.
Journalists can register to access 2011 commercial seal hunt visual assets