April 29, 2013
Taking Our Evidence Worldwide
Canada's 2013 slaughter of baby seals began this month. HSI's Rebecca Aldworth is telling the world about the bloodshed, and this is her latest report.
by Rebecca Aldworth
Our documentation of the 2013 commercial seal slaughter is complete, and the evidence we gathered shows the killing remains as inhumane as ever.
This year, our team filmed sealers wounding seals and leaving them to suffer, gaffing seemingly conscious seals onto sealing vessels, allowing wounded seals to escape beneath the water’s surface (to die a slow and painful death) and cutting open potentially conscious animals.
The HSI Protect Seals team brought our evidence to Geneva, where the World Trade Organization is holding a second hearing on whether the European Union has the right to ban seal product trade.
The EU ban, together with similar seal product trade prohibitions in Russia and Taiwan, has saved more than one million baby seals from the Canadian commercial seal slaughter in the past four years alone. We cannot allow Canada and Norway to succeed in their efforts to convince the WTO to overturn this crucial ban. No trade organization should ever be permitted to view animal welfare and public morals as trade barriers.
HSI faces formidable obstacles in 2013. We must help defend the bans on seal product trade that are already in place, even as we block Canada’s attempts to develop new markets. In Canada, we have to build alliances with the commercial sealing industry to convince the government to end the seal hunt and implement a fair sealing industry buyout. These are tremendous challenges, but your support is helping us to win this campaign.
Your generosity kept our helicopter in the air and our cameras rolling during the 2013 seal slaughter, allowing us to expose to the world what the Canadian government doesn't want people to see. Those images will be broadcast at the WTO hearing, disproving entirely Canada’s claims of a humane kill.
Your messages are showing the Canadian government that global opposition to commercial sealing is increasing, and that a sealing industry buyout is the right way forward.
Most importantly, you are a part of the Protect Seals team, and your ongoing support is helping us to wage this campaign on multiple fronts worldwide.
With you on our side, we can end the seal slaughter forever.
- Call for a federal buyout »
- Support our efforts to stop the slaughter »
- Watch an animated video about the seal slaughter »
- View our seals infographic »
Rebecca Aldworth is executive director of HSI/Canada.