Canada’s annual commercial seal hunt, which mainly takes place during March and April, sees thousands of young seals clubbed to death for their furs. An estimated 95-98 per cent of the seals killed during the commercial hunt are three weeks to three months old, sparking calls for a ban on seal hunting from animal activists.
Commercial hunt has shrunk in recent years as major export markets such as the European Union, the United States and Russia have banned import of seal-fur products over animal-welfare concerns. Still, more than 38,000 seals were killed in the year 2015.
A government document obtained by Humane Society International, Canada reveals that the federal government spends about 2.5 million dollars annually to monitor the commercial seal hunt, which had an export value of only $500,000 in 2014 making the hunt economically nonviable. Rebecca Aldworth, executive director of Humane Society International says:
The fact that the minimal level of monitoring that is conducted by the Canadian government exceeds the export value of this industry by $2 million is certainly a strong indication that this hunt should be ended for economic reasons alone. We have a government that is well aware it’s pouring dollars into an economic sinkhole that will never recover.
Recently, Justin Trudeau’s new government came under renewed pressure from animal rights activists to ban seal hunting as it has not yet announced a quota for 2016 hunting season that starts by the end of March and continues through April.