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Youth4Animals members tell Canada to stop killing seals
Posted 19 March 2007
Youth4Animals members (Animal Aid's youth group) held a successful demonstration outside Canada House at Trafalgar Square on Saturday. Eight members, aged from 11 to 18, were joined by staff from Animal Aid's Education department and collected signatures on a petition asking the Canadian government to stop the annual seal hunt.
Members of the public were eager to sign up and let Canada know of their outrage that this hunt continues. We often had queues of people waiting to sign!
The Canadian government allows hundreds of thousands of baby seals to be brutally killed each year - either shot or clubbed to death. The season typically runs from late March to May, depending on ice conditions. They claim that the seals are eating too many fish and that the selling of their skins provides gainful employment in rural areas that have few other opportunities. However, the decline in fish numbers is actually caused by human over-fishing, not seals! As for employment, the amount of money earned from seals is a very small proportion of the amount earned through other activities - it simply provides something for a small number of fishermen to do off-season.
The quota for 2006 was set at 335,000, but even that huge number was not enough for hunters, who killed 354,000 harp seals before the season was ended. 97% of those killed were less than 3 months old. Because of the outcry in the 1980s, the Canadian government banned the killing of 'white coats', instead allowing the pups to be slaughtered when they have shed these - but this happens when they are only 12 to 15 days old. The quota for 2007 has not yet been set.