Nearly one million seals to be killed in largest hunt in more than fifty years

Boston, MA — In February and March of 1969, Friends of Animals placed advertisements in dozens of newspapers pressing the public to protest Canada’s seal slaughter. Brian Davies’s film of the massacre was televised, causing an international outcry when viewers saw the gruesome scenes of baby seals hacked to death in front of their helpless mothers. Life covered the story and headlined its photographs, “A bloody business in Canada causes an uproar all over.”

Now local citizens will join an international animal protection group, Friends of Animals, Saturday at an afternoon rally to urge the Canadian Government to end the largest seal hunt in more than fifty years.

In February of 2003, the Canadian government announced its intention to allow its next three consecutive spring hunts (2003-2005) result in the killing of 975,000 seals — adding up to the largest yearly killing permission Canada has imposed upon young seals over the last 30 years. This past March, Canada annual seal hunt permitted more than 400,000 baby seals — from 12 days to 12 weeks old — to be clubbed and shot to death in Canada.

“The Canadian Consulate should be ashamed of this cruel and outrageous massacre,” said Christine Dorchak, host of local television program Animal Agenda. “It is time for the Canadian government to end the brutal seal hunt.”

According to Friends of Animals, most of the seals killed are under one month old, have never eaten solid food and cannot escape because they have not yet learned to swim. The most common methods of killing are bludgeoning and clubbing. Justifications for this annihilation rest on blaming seals for wiping out Atlantic codfish and putting anglers out of work.

Priscilla Feral, president of Friends of Animals, states: “Regardless of the numbers targeted, the seal kill cannot be morally justified. Seals are not resources or commodities to be traded for the convenience of profit; they’re entitled to be left alone. FoA deplores the seal hunt for the suffering and death it imposes on every single seal.”