April 12, 2010
Seal Hunt 2010: Tragedy, Hope
A "Live from the Ice" dispatch from Rebecca Aldworth, director of Humane Society International/Canada
Today the ProtectSeals team is once again flying out to the area where the sealing boats are operating. Yesterday, from the air, we filmed horrible suffering, and we are certain that if the sealing boats are still out there we’ll see the same today. Clearly, these sealers care nothing about following even the few, inadequate rules that exist to protect baby seals.
But even as we head toward the sealing grounds, we are hopeful that the killing may be winding down. This year, the top buyer of seal fur in Canada reportedly decided not to purchase any baby seal skins. One other seal fur processor did agree to buy up to 50,000 skins—and given the clear lack of market demand this year, I can only wonder what government subsidy facilitated that purchase.
The sealing industry is coming to an end. Despite the posturing of my government, it is clear the only way Canada can keep this outdated, globally condemned slaughter going is through subsidies. (And those subsidies come from a Canadian public that overwhelmingly opposes the seal hunt and the use of their tax dollars for that purpose.)
The low demand this year means hundreds of thousands of baby seals will survive the slaughter. It has been a hard fight to save them, and our work is not over yet. But it’s reassuring to know that our campaign is working. And it’s working because of you.
Thank you for standing with the ProtectSeals team as we bear witness to the 2010 commercial seal slaughter—and for sharing our unwavering belief that we can and will make it history. We have never been closer than we are now.
Please support the end of the seal hunt in Canada: donate to save seals, or sign the pledge to boycott seafood from Canada»
Rebecca Aldworth is executive director of Humane Society International/Canada. For the past decade, she has been a firsthand observer of Canada's commercial seal hunt, escorting more than 100 scientists, parliamentarians and journalists to the ice floes to witness the slaughter.