Canada’s Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq said she will argue at the three-day World Trade Organization hearing in Geneva what the Tories have steadfastly defended — that the seal harvest is humane, sustainable and well-regulated.
Maybe she needs a dictionary because the word humane means: Having or showing compassion or benevolence. In what way is clubbing a seal to death humane? Slamming a seal in the head with a hakapik does not in most cases immediately kill it, but causes intensive pain and fear. And not to forget the fact that these seal babies get skinned alive as a result of that.
The Canadian government uses traditions of the Inuit (who’s hunting is not under any threat) to push the commercial slaughter. In fact 3% of slaughtered seals are made by the Inuit’s. The rest is commercial and made just to make money. And although Aglukkaq claims that the seal slaughter is humane the fact is that the business is a very competitive race between ‘sealers’ to collect as many skins as possible before the quota is reached. Sometimes as many as 150,000 seals have been killed in two days. Under such conditions, humane killing isn’t a priority and is rarely achieved. And would be great to hear what exactly is humane by hunting practices that permit the most inhumane activities:
- Live and conscious animals are impaled on steel hooks;
- Seals can be shot at from moving boats and in open water;
- Multiple animals can be shot before testing for unconsciousness,
- Wounded seals may be left to suffer and bleeding out since it is not required immediately after hitting them to checking for unconsciousness.
The requirements for humane slaughter are neither legislated nor practised at all.
And I bet the Canadian people must be proud over the fact that Aglukkaq said the WTO process has cost taxpayers more than $300,000 so far which is a lot of money if you also think about that seal slaughter accounts for less than 1% of the economy of Newfoundland where most of the slaughter takes place.