GUELPH, CANADA -- With the world focused on Canada as the 2010 Olympic Games begin this week, the Canadian government has announced its intention to kill as many as 50,000 grey seal pups on its east coast. IFAW (The International Fund for Animal Welfare – www.ifaw.org) is condemning the slaughter, much of which is expected to occur in a protected wilderness area.
Three out of every four grey seal pups born this year have been marked for death.
“This federally funded extermination program targets the most helpless of creatures for political purposes” said Sheryl Fink, Senior Researcher with the IFAW. “There are no commercial or conservation reasons for this slaughter to proceed. With the few dying markets for seal products disappearing, and no evidence that killing seals will help fish stocks, this is nothing more than a pathetic attempt to obliterate an entire year class of defenseless animals.”
Observers have stated that the so-called grey seal “harvest” is one of the cruelest in existence. Frightened and panicked pups are herded, clubbed and skinned in front of their still-nursing brethren and their mothers. Sealers are allowed to enter the nursery to slaughter the three-week old pups before they can swim and escape into the water, where they are more difficult to kill.
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“When all eyes of the world are on Canada, what better time to showcase our annual event of clubbing helpless newborn animals. By drawing international attention to our commercial seal slaughter, asbestos exports, and tar sands, Canada is sure to dominate the podium of shame.” concluded Fink.