Support Resurgence now Resurgence Cookies

You agree to us using simple cookies. More Information

In your basket at the moment:

Total £0.00

Checkout

Issue 271
March/April 2012
Animals: A New Ethics

Web Exclusives
Article

Blood on Ice
by
Credit International Fund for Animal Welfare www.ifaw.org/uk/

Credit International Fund for Animal Welfare www.ifaw.org/uk/

Reprint permissions

Buy this issue: 285
Register for a free copy

Magazine

Related Pages

My Resurgence

RDM Revival

Artists Project Earth New Album. Help us to help them...

Green Books

Blood on Ice

Robbie Marsland reports on the long campaign to end the Canadian seal-hunt.

As you read this, my colleagues in Canada are preparing to document one of the world’s largest annual slaughters of wildlife.

Many people mistakenly think Canada stopped hunting seal pups decades ago. Not only is it continuing, but the Canadian government is subsidising it – to the tune of an estimated £1.4 million in 2010.

Last year Sheryl Fink, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)’s Seal Programme Director, witnessed the killing. She said: “We watched in horror as one of the men on the boat reached down and jabbed a live pup with his long handled gaff. The frightened pup whirled and snapped at the gaff, trying to bite at it in self defence. But she didn’t stand a chance. With another swing, the sealer slammed the steel hook into the little pup’s face, and lifted her up into the boat.”

With mass public support, IFAW has had real successes, particularly the European Union ban on seal-product importation. The number of seals killed in Canada’s commercial hunt has dropped dramatically, from over 354,000 in 2006 to about 37,000 in 2011 – but the quota for potential killing remains at 400,000.

Canada and Norway are challenging the EU ban at the World Trade Organization. The outcome is likely to be an important milestone in trade policy, and an indicator of the role of moral concerns – such as animal welfare – in relation to economic gain.

The Canadian public are understandably opposed to having their hard-earned taxes subsidise the hunt. A number of MPs have openly questioned the need for the commercial seal hunt, and now the Canadian parliament has its first MP from the Green Party, which opposes this annual slaughter too.

Robbie Marsland is the Director of IFAW-UK www.ifaw.org

Resurgence at the heart of earth, art and spirit