Great Canadian Seal Hunt - Big Deal Or Non-Issue

#1
Canada has recently had Sir Paul McCartney visit and condemn the annual seal hunt. As well, Brigitte Bardot has visited and caused a bit of a stir in denouncing the hunt. Now, Pam Anderson is determined to deliver a petition asking that the seal hunt be stopped. Each of these celebrities has indicated, and the press here keeps repeating, that the international community, especially Europeans are "horrified", "sickened", "disgusted", etc, etc about the seal hunt. Each of these folks has gone on at some length about the black-eye this gives Canada and Canadians and that there are severe economic and other repercussions awaiting us.

Setting aside whether or not the seal hunt is right or wrong, justified or not, I'm a little doubtful that any Canadian issue is a big deal outside of our borders. Are Europeans (or anyone else) really up in arms about the seal hunt? Or is this just the Canadian media being "star-struck" by the visit of some celebs?

Personally, I have never taken part in the Great Saskatchewan Seal Hunt, but I have done my fair share of beaver hunting, a sport I very much recommend to every man (and most women) out there. Cheers.
 
#4
Yeah, the pups are cute, but they have been illegal to hunt since 1987. As far as I understand it, there are about 6 million harp seals on the East Coast, about thrice the number there was when seal hunting first became an international issue.

The adults are mainly hunted for their coats, the fur being sold to China, Russia, Korea and a host of other countries. Some of the meat is certainly used by the hunters and I believe some of the Inuit and other aboriginal tribes still take part in subsistence hunting. Population control of the seals is a factor, but a lesser one that obtaining the pelts. To the best of my knowledge there is no "sport" factor in seal hunting as they aren't exactly speedy on the ice.

So, is the hunt an issue over in Europe with ordinary folks? I know we heard a fair bit about the UK banning fox hunting, but I think that was more due to the fox hunt being a "symbol" of the English way of life.....like every Englishman has gone fox hunting.
 
#5
If it's just for sport then I'm totally against it! Don't like any kind of hunting for 'sport'.
 
#6
wotan said:
Canada has recently had Sir Paul McCartney visit and condemn the annual seal hunt.
Im supprised he didnt have his wife there hitting the hunters with her false leg!!!!!! :lol:
 
#7
From what I was reading in the times they can hunt young seals, just not those under 3 weeks or something. The times had a lovely photo of a cute seal lying dead streaked with blood. Apparently to preserve the pelt they attach them with spiked clubs, so they don't put a bullet hole through the valuable skin. I think it's not especially humane...
There are claims the seal population has trebled, I have no idea if that is supported scientifically. However if the population has risen remember that those extra seals will be putting even greater pressure on limited cod stocks, reducing the income for those in the area.
Myself I'm mainly against it, if they do do it it'd be nicer if it was a wee bit less painful for the poor cuties... (sound like a woman :p)
Doesn't come close the Norway/Japan whaling, but perhaps the media are bored of that?
 
#8
Canada hunters head for seal cull

The justifcation for the cull given by the Canadian Government in the story above states that, the seals need to be culled to controll their numbers as well as providing income for the local economy through the sale of seal pelts and meat.

I would suggest that the cull is almost entirely for economic reasons. As well as the money generated through the sale of seal products, the seals are going to prey upon the fish these guys fish for. So, if there are fewer seals there will be more fish for the fishermen when they go out to sea. These people need to make a living somehow, and I don't think there is much else for them to do in that part of the world.

This is similar to the problem fishermen in this country face. The fisheries managers tell the politicians that only a certain amount of fish can be caught. Generally this amount would not be economically viable for the fishermen concerned, so the politicians allow them to catch more fish. It's not good for the fish stocks, but fishermen are still able to earn a living and support their families and the local economy.
 
#9
I think you can see from the posts so far, that most people have very little knowledge of the seal cull, so it doesn't seem to be a major issue for europeans.

There has been some mention of it on the news, but nothing major. It certainly hasn't been a talking point for anyone I know.

Perhaps you should try dressing the seals in Mohammed costumes, then I'm pretty sure that half the world would be up in arms.

Let me know how you get on.......




on second thoughts don't bother I'll just watch the news!
 
#10
I don't disagree with the economics of seal hunting. However don't relate this to fish stocks around the UK, those have been exploited beyond their maximum sustainable yield and so are seeing reduced populations and reduced returns (then quotas as well etc). The seal hunting purely seems to be aimed at leveling the number.
What I do disagree with is undue suffering of an animal. I believe an animal, if it needs to be killed (I'm no veggie) should be killed quickly and with as little suffering as possible. Remember if it wasn't the seals it would be something else with some of these environmentalist nutcases, they give the rest of us a bad name :?
 
#11
As long as they are not being hunted beyond their viable limits as a species, I have no issue with it. People are so hypercritical when it comes to killing animals. Man (and woman) slaughters untold millions of furry critters, on the road, by accident, and in the fields with combine harvesters etc, again by accident.
Every single living creature is going to die at some point, I'm sure fluffy bunnykins has no concept of the tragedy of his early demise at the age of three, when he could have lived to the ripe old age of, perhaps, five.
I blame Disney, oh, and the industrial revolution.
 
#12
wotan said:
Personally, I have never taken part in the Great Saskatchewan Seal Hunt, but I have done my fair share of beaver hunting, a sport I very much recommend to every man (and most women) out there. Cheers.
Traps or guns? In my admittedly limited experience running a trapline seems more like working than sport.
 
#14
Having family in Canada who know more about the economic and moral issues with the annual seal cull than I do has made for one or two interesting conversations when the cull comes around on the media calendar and the British newspaper's often inaccurate reporting of the subject filters back to the Canadians. I'm certainly no bunnyhugger, vegetarian (moral or otherwise) or ALF emapthiser but do carry fairly strong opinions when it comes to animal welfare. If a viable ecological and economical balance is to be maintained between man and beast then the cull is a reality that has to be accepted; from the little I know this practice has been working well for years. What I do object to though is the method employed. As these mammals can't flee I don't see why a bullet or captive bolt to the head can't be delivered instead of repeated clubbing. Making use of the pelt is definitely necessary to avoid waste but I don't see how an extra hole at the tip of the pelt could make much of a difference to value - especially if every pelt is the same.

Always will be a contentious issue but one that is essentially driven by the undeniably cute image of said pups rather consideration for the bigger picture. Afterall, no-one ever gets on their high horse about fish, crustacean, reptile, insect welfare almost certainly because they're not fluffy and cute, despite scientific research apparently revealing that fish, for one, have much more of a concept of pain/fear etc. than originally thought. 8O
 
#15
Its freakin disgusting and TOTALLY unneeded. I say ban it and ban it now!!! I rarely get off on liberal agenda's, however, this is one I FULLY support.
 
#16
Phil306 said:
Its freakin disgusting and TOTALLY unneeded. I say ban it and ban it now!!! I rarely get off on liberal agenda's, however, this is one I FULLY support.
I fully agree with you on this, its totally unecessary and why call it a 'sport'? Can somebody tell me what is 'sporting' about any type of hunting, be it clubbing seals, or chasing foxes, deer, etc. Am I missing the point somewhere?
 
#17
susie_q said:
Phil306 said:
Its freakin disgusting and TOTALLY unneeded. I say ban it and ban it now!!! I rarely get off on liberal agenda's, however, this is one I FULLY support.
I fully agree with you on this, its totally unecessary and why call it a 'sport'? Can somebody tell me what is 'sporting' about any type of hunting, be it clubbing seals, or chasing foxes, deer, etc. Am I missing the point somewhere?
You're right Susie, bludgeoning seals or chasing foxes with packs of hounds is not sporting, as it requires no skill, and results in unnecassary suffering, deerhunting is a different matter.
Deer, compared to us, have exceptional senses, they are far more at home in the woods or on the moor than us, and they have the advantage of a good turn of speed, the odds are stacked firmly in their favour.
For a man to take down a stag or hind, with a rifle, requires exceptional skill, and to do it correctly, in other words, with a perfectly placed shot that severs the spinal chord and results in a quick painless death, is the height of sportsmanship.
You must remember, that animals have no hospitals or hospices, if they survive till old age, they will eventually be unable to feed due to ill health, and will die a slow distressing death.
How much better is it to end your life cleanly at the hands of a skilled hunter, and be toasted as a worthy adversary.
 
#18
susie_q said:
Phil306 said:
Its freakin disgusting and TOTALLY unneeded. I say ban it and ban it now!!! I rarely get off on liberal agenda's, however, this is one I FULLY support.
I fully agree with you on this, its totally unecessary and why call it a 'sport'? Can somebody tell me what is 'sporting' about any type of hunting, be it clubbing seals, or chasing foxes, deer, etc. Am I missing the point somewhere?
Yes you have missed the point. It isn't a sport, it's an organised cull which is done partly to reduce the number of seals, and save the cute little sealy-wealys from starving to death, and also, just as importantly to produce revenue from the sale of the skins.

Fur traders are happy, the Canadian government is happy, the seals probably aren't and neither is Sir Paul.
 
#19
Sport, my fat cellulite-encased American a$$. "Sporting" should be reserved for hunting something that can actually get away with fully grown limbs. To describe clubbing baby seals to death (or at least unconsciousness) as sporting is disingenuous. At least be honest about the fact that it's a distasteful business that brings in cash.
 
#20
For those of you who give a f**k, let's get some terminology correct and put things in perspective.. This is not a ' hunt' in the Elmer Fudd tradition " gown ta get me a rabbit . " not is it a sport/recreation in the Dick Cheney ' blast a wittle birdie ' tradition.. This is a commercialization of a traditional subsistence activity in the style of '' hunts " when pioneers/rural types went out to ' hunt for food/skins, etc.'.. For coastal fishermen [East Coast/Maritimers mainly ] their ' traditional ' livelihood is commercial catch of cod and other food fish species [drastically diminished by overzealous commercial conglomerates who have sucked the oceans dry of catch by ever increasing techno-efficient large scale floating fish factories so that fish recovery is slow and possibly lost..]

The seal ' hunt' in the ' off-season ' adds to the financial well-being [ in some cases saves the fishermen and their families from destitution ] by allowing them to recover approximately $ 6000 per man in additional revenue.
The seals are ' harvested ' for their pelts for the fashionista sets in Europe and the Middle East, the meat and certain ' exotic ' bits are sold to Oriental markets for food and ' medicine ' and the rest is left for the use of the hunters' families to get them through until fishing season rolls around again.. Add to this the rights of aboriginals [ Dene and Inuit ] to subsistence hunts and you have the rationale for the hunt.. The federal government sets a limit on the ' catch ' based on scientific surveys of the seal population and other factors...

some claim that a high seal population eats its way through food fish stocks further depleting the ' resource' for people, though this has never been empirically proven.. The numbers of seals taken in the hunt are a fraction of the food source animals slaughtered each year for human consumption - cattle, sheep, chickens, etc.. and don''t even match the annual turkey 'massacre' at Chirstmas..
As it is, given the recent Global warming trends and thus the melting of iceflows on which the seals give birth, more ' pups' are dying from drowning beofe they learn to swim than are killed by the hunters.

Those that condmen the killing of the seals are fighting on two levels; the ' cute' factor and the supposed barbarity of the hunting method [ i.e. clubbing so as not to damage the pelts ] and the ' need' factor..i.e. ' why do we need to eat seal meat ?'
and look at the issue in the manner of whaling where synthetic alternatives are readily available and the fact that whales are ' fellow mammals' with ' elevated intelligence...'

If seals were raised in some manner of ' farming 'and the ' processing ' of seals into foodstuffs conducted in the same manner as pork/beef/chicken slaughterhouses do, you would find that Bridgit and all the others who moon over the cute widdle seals would be ignored and shoved to the fringe with the rest of the broccoli lovers who get ill at the thought of having an egg for breakfast...

Until the ' save the seals' bunch come up with a viable alternative to stave off starvation and bankruptcy for the fishermen/hunters or decide to just pay them their $ 6000 not to hunt, then, I say shut up.. and when they do close down the seal hunt and the seals start ' nesting' in their swimming pools and pissing on their begonias because there are no longer any natural predators to keep them in check [ we've been killing off the Orcas and the polar bears that eat seals by polluting their habitats directly or indirectly ] then we'll see just how ' cuddly' these animals are..
 

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