Revival of seal pup
killing is sickening
POST-INTELLIGENCER EDITORIAL BOARD
Thursday, April 8, 2004
Fashion is reviving
Canada's brutal hunting of baby seals. The craze for seal fur
deserves a quick death.
Although the United
States bans the import of seal fur and the European Union
prohibits fur from the youngest seals, the world market for seal
products has grown substantially. Sealskin hats are big in Russia,
Ukraine and Poland, according to a report by The New
That's a pity. In the
'70s and '80s, the United States and European countries acted for
good reasons. The stark cruelty of the hunt revolted public
opinion on both continents and seal populations appeared to be at
As most people recall,
hunters shoot or club baby harp seals to death on the ice, then
skin them, often on the spot. Although world reaction forced
Canada to reduce the hunts, growing markets, higher prices and
larger populations have led to a revival. This year's
hunt has been set at a record 350,000 killings.
Canada has improved
its regulations and enforcement. This year, for instance, hunters
must check more carefully to see if the pups are dead before
But the hunt remains
barbaric and unnecessary. Helpless pups are clubbed to death in
front of one another. They can be as young as 12 days old. As many
as one-third of all the infants are killed.
Wearing their skin
shouldn't be a symbol of cool, anywhere in the world.