Tell Canada the Seal Hunt Must End

You probably already know that right now off the ice floes of Eastern Canada, hundreds of thousands of baby seals as young as 12 days of age are being clubbed or shot to death without mercy.

As I write this, one of nature’s greatest spectacles is being overrun by seal hunters wielding wooden bats, rifles and hakapiks — a type of spiked club. The seal pups, awkward and slow, try to flee without hope of escape.

Sealers run across the ice and club each baby seal once on the head, then flip the seal on its back to remove its pelt with a knife. Too often, the baby seal struggles against the knife and is clubbed several more times until dead.

I wanted to give you an update on the events of this year’s seal hunt, and let you know what our next steps are in stopping this cruel and senseless practice.

Why does Canada still hunt two-week-old seal pups?

The simple answer is profit. If seal pelts were not valuable; seals would not be killed. The greed of a select few has turned one of the world’s most precious natural heritages into a virtual slaughterhouse.

Last week Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans announced its intention to continue reducing the entire harp seal population by up to a third ... without scientific justification. The greedy incentive to maximize profit by killing as many animals as possible, as quickly as possible, is not only cruel and disrespectful to our natural heritage, it has the dangerous potential to push harp seals down the road to extinction.

Canada’s government is counting on your silence

The brutal and irresponsible nature of the hunt is at great odds with Canada’s reputation as a civilized, progressive country.

I know that like me, you look forward to a day where the Canadian government, the fur industry and others who are fueling the killing of baby seals realize that seals are worth more than just the price of their pelts.

That’s why I want to urge you to speak out right now to tell the new Canadian Ambassador to the US Frank McKenna that the rest of the world will no longer stand for such a cruel and senseless hunt. Let’s send him a welcome message he’ll never forget!

I cannot stress enough how much your voice makes a difference. Thanks to a worldwide outcry spurred by IFAW in the 1970s, the commercial killing of whitecoat seal pups was banned in 1987. Thanks to people like you speaking out, the seal hunt was slowly dying off through the 1980s until the Canadian government began seal meat subsidies and set quotas allowing the slaughter of over a quarter million seals every year.

That’s why I need you to speak out now one more time. Simply hit Reply to this email and then click Send and we’ll automatically send the message below on your behalf:

Dear Ambassador McKenna,

I am deeply opposed to Canada’s plan to slaughter nearly one million seals over three years - the highest quota in history. The vast majority of these animals (95%) are less than three months old and completely defenseless.

This deliberate plan to reduce the seal population through hidden subsidies and unethical killing methods is completely without scientific justification. Continuing to ignore the inexcusable cruelty and waste inherent in this annual “hunt” is simply wrong.

It is long past time for the Canadian government to act upon the wishes of the compassionate majority that is completely opposed to this hunt. Please act immediately to end this unnecessary abuse.


Thanks for all you do,

Fred O’Regan
President and CEO

Please speak for the baby seals


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April 2005

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