Bearing witness to seal slaughter

Mar 29, 2006

Up to 91,000 seals will be killed during the hunt off the coast of Prince Edward Island (PEI) this year, and a total of 325,000 will be hunted nationwide in the world's largest slaughter of marine mammals.

"Most of the seals we saw being killed were young pups, just two to three weeks old, and most have yet to fully molt their fluffy white coats,” said Tkachyk. “Under Canadian law, the pups are fair game as soon as they molt their first white hairs at 12 days old. At this age, the pups are just learning how to swim. It was horrifying to see these little seals trying to stay afloat on small melting ice floes while the hunters were after them."

The team was unable to land directly on the ice floes due to poor conditions, but they witnessed the full horror from a helicopter hovering directly overhead.  . The weakened ice pans also forced sealers to hunt from their boats, shooting at the seals unfortunate enough to poke their heads out of the water or stuck on tiny melting ice floes.

WSPA participates in Protect Seals (, a global campaign to end the hunt. Protect Seals is a coalition of animal welfare organizations that represents tens of millions of individuals worldwide.

Help the coalition to protect seals by writing today to Canada's Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, and the Canadian Tourism Commission.

 Office of the Prime Minister
Right Hon. Stephen Harper
80 Wellington Street
K1A 0A2
Fax: 613-941-6900

Canadian Tourism Commission
55 Metcalfe Street
Suite 600
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
K1P 6L5
Fax: 613-954-3945


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