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STUDENTS AGAINST ANIMAL SUFFERING - University of California, San Diego
SEALING
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BLOOD ON THE ICE

Each year, sealers go out onto the ice off of Newfoundland and Labrador to kill young seals - through shooting them or clubbing them to death - for their fur, their meat, and their penises.  Although marine mammal parts are illegal in the United States, seal fur is sold in Europe and in others parts of the world.  It is not popular though, and the Canadian government continues to subsidize these hunts.  Seal meat reportedly does not taste very good and the only market for it has been in certain Asian countries.  But because of a bad economy there the sale in seal meat has gone down, which has sparked major advertising campaigns encouraging people to buy seal meat, and even seal pepperoni.  Seal penises are sold as an aphrodesiac in Asian countries, and some seals killed for their penises are simply thrown back into the ocean, explicitly showing the barbarity and wastefulness of the hunt.
The season for killing seals lasts from November 15 to May 15, and Canada has announced that over the next hree years they will allow the slaughter of 975,000 harp and hooded seals, the world's largest slaughter of wildlife, and the only major hunt anywhere in the world to target young animals.  Last year, 96.6% of the 286,238 seals reportedly killed (not counting those that are "struck and lost") were between 12 days and 12 weeks old, mostly because Europe banned the sale of whitecoats, baby seals, and blue backs, adult seals.  The seals that are killed are called beaters, but from an ethical standpoint, should we feel differently about a seal that is killed when she is 5 days old than a seal killed when she is 12 days old?

A group of veterinarians that observed some of the scenes of slaughter said that 42% of the animals were skinned while conscious.  Hunters were not even checking a struck seal to se if she was ded before going on to kill more.  And when sealers exceed their quotas, as they did during the last season, the government presses no charges and simply ups the quota to accomidate them.

The government claims that the hunt must occur so that diminished cod stocks may recover, but seals are only a scpegoat here.  Only a small part of the seal's diet is cod, and seals also eat the predators of cod, so by simply killing all the seals we have no idea what will happen to the cod population.  Just s Japan claims they must kill whales to prevent them from killing all the fish, blaming these mammals for the current crisis, the real reason for the depletion in fish populations is due to overfishing.  People are simply taking too may fish for the ecosystem to withstand, and substituting an unsustainable hunt for an unsustainable fishery won't solve any problems.

Canada needs to halt its massacre of wild animals before they permanently upset the natural balance.  Seals are intelligent, sentient beings, and we simply can't treat them this way.

You can help stop this bloodshed!
*Don't vacation in Canada! Don't spend money that would go to fund these cruel hunts, and make this known to the Canadian tourism industry.
*Contact the Prime Minister and demand that he put a stop to all the violence.
*Write a letter to the editor of your newspaper expressing your feelings about the hunt.  Write to your elected officals and ask that they take a stand.
*Get more information on this subject and see what else you can do.. 

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Visit the Links Below:

ProtectSeals.og
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Information on the Fur Trade
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Images:
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Contact the Prime Minister of Canada and ask that this massacre be stopped.
Right Honorable Paul Martin

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Every animal knows more than you do. -- Native American Proverb