Slaughter of Seals
The concept of seal hunting is one that many people don’t agree with. It seems very inhumane the way in which they are killed. They are often clubbed to death or poked with huge hooks and then drug across the ice to the ships that await them. Since there isn’t an abundant market for seal meat, people are angry that these animals are killed only for sport. In many areas they are killed to allow fishermen the access to the food supply that the seals would be consuming.
Some of the worst footage shown regarding seal hunting took place in 1983. Videos were shown of helpless seals being hit in the head with clubs until they succumbed to the pain. These killings were so that the fur of the seals could be taken. Once such videos aired, various animal rights groups got on board to campaign for reform. Their efforts were successful as it became illegal to buy or to sell seal fur in many areas.
However, Canada continues to get under fire due to their seal hunting. It is estimated that each year more than 300,000 of them are senselessly slaughtered. It is also believed that the government of Canada doesn’t pay attention to the quota limits that it has in place. Instead it continues to encourage people to kill all they can and even offers monetary rewards for those killed above the quota.
There has been plenty of pressure on Canada to change their laws relating to seal hunting. So far they are unwilling to do so. Others don’t care so much that they decide to hunt the seals. However, they want there to be a more humane way of it being done so that these animals don’t suffer in the process. Once again, the Canadian government has turned a deaf ear to such requests.
In the defense of Canada, they have hunted seals for more than 4,000 years. It was a symbol in their early culture of a rite of passage for young men. While that is to be valued for them on a cultural level, it isn’t hard to see they have gone way beyond those early means. The fact that the people of Canada rarely consume the meat from the seals they kill indicate that they don’t engage in the behavior as a means of survival either.
There are some other locations out there where seal hunting is still legal. However, the difference between them and Canada is that they do pay close attention to limits. They also have laws in place to prevent the illegal killing of seals. These locations include Russia, Norway, Namibia, and Greenland.
Some seals are hunted in order to provide a variety of items for people. For example waterproof jackets and boots are made from materials that come from seals. The fur coats of some species of seals can earn up to $100 each. When there are limits on hunting such animals, the demand for them means that the cost of each one can double or triple. As a result it becomes more enticing for individuals to offer them.
There are some cultures out there that do eat the meat of the seals they kill. However, they don’t slaughter enough of them to be a huge threat to their numbers as a whole. It isn’t a good idea to eat too much seal meat though. It has been linked to a variety of health concerns due to the amount of mercury found in it.
There are plenty of animals rights groups that continue to take a very firm stand against seal hunting. They aren’t afraid to show pictures of what is taking place in order to get more people on their side. They want to see their conservation efforts succeed and they know in order to do this they must eliminate these practices of seal hunting.