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Canada to kill 275,000 baby harp seals. Man faces charges for killing opossum

By Gary Bogue
Thursday, March 13th, 2008 at 7:21 am in Animal Cruelty, harp seals.

Reuters says the Canadian government has announced, “Hunters will be allowed to kill 275,000 baby harp seals on Canada’s ice flows this year.”

Meanwhile, an Associated Press wire story from The Orange County Register reports that police said a man and his 12-year-old son could face charges related to animal cruelty after an incident that left a mother opossum and four of her babies dead. Witnesses told police they saw the father and son pushing an upside-down bucket down the street with the mother opossum inside.

When they lifted the bucket and the opossum jumped out, the boy began beating it with a shovel. Kind of like the seal hunters beat the baby seals with clubs.

There is a slight difference, however.

The father was arrested and released on bail. The 12-year-old was detained and released to his mother, pending further review, according to police.

The seal hunters, on the other hand (club?), will be able to continue killing baby harp seals and selling their skins for clothing and the seal oil drained from their bodies (hey, it contains omega 3 fatty acids!) for a LOT of money.

What a strange little world we live on.

We seem to care about the deaths of a mama opossum and her babies on the one hand, while we’re clubbing to death 275,000 baby seals with the other.

Does caring about the death of the opossums mean there’s hope? Hum. /Gary

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18 Responses to “Canada to kill 275,000 baby harp seals. Man faces charges for killing opossum”

  1. Mia Bullard Says:

    Yes the brutal killing of baby seals is sad but the brutality is no worse than that of a slaughterhouse. In fact, factory farming in general is an extremely cruel industry. It is no different. Bashing of heads, and skinned alive. That’s the reality, that’s the truth. Everytime you eat an egg or piece of meat you are supporting cruelty to animals. Lets not get all holier than thou just because seals are cuter than chickens. When it comes to having a central nervous system, and the ability to feel pain, hunger, and thirst, a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy. ~Ingrid Newkirk

    Quote: A veteran USDA meat inspector from Texas describes what he has seen: “Cattle dragged and choked… knocking ‘em four, five, ten times. Every now and then when they’re stunned they come back to life, and they’re up there agonizing. They’re supposed to be re-stunned but sometimes they aren’t and they’ll go through the skinning process alive. I’ve worked in four large [slaughterhouses] and a bunch of small ones. They’re all the same. If people were to see this, they’d probably feel really bad about it. But in a packing house everybody gets so used to it that it doesn’t mean anything.”

  2. Gary Bogue Says:

    Mia:
    Don’t try to turn this into a contest. It’s ALL bad and it has nothing to do with being “holier than thou” or whether one mistreated animal is cuter than another. /Gary

  3. Bridget Says:

    You can always spot a pro-sealer online straightaway by their shrieks about slaughterhouses, “cute” animals, and how anti-sealers are hypocrites unless they are vegan (and freaks if they ARE vegan).

    As an ethical vegan, I am in agreement with you, Gary – ALL exploitation of animals is bad and it’s got nothing to do with being holier than thou and everything to do with having compassion and commonsense. Mia needs to understand (as do all pro-sealers who use slaughterhouses to justify the seal hunt) that we cannot excuse one evil (seal hunting) simply because other evils (factory farming) exist.

  4. Mercury Says:

    I don’t think the article explains many important details to determine whether this is truly a bad thing. We need to know the overall numbers of harp seals and figure out if the killing by humans is merely substituting for death to the pups that would occur “naturally” by other causes. I think I’ve read that 30% of harp seal pups die of starvation within their first year of life. If the hunting quota is determined based on substituting hunting by humans for this “natural” starvation mortality, then I don’t see that it is particularly wrong, as long as the seals are killed without undue pain and suffering. Remember, it is the livelihood of those people, and the seals are not wasted but every part utilized. I’ll bet the seals are killed a lot more humanely than domestic livestock, especially due to the public eye of the media, which is rarely hanging out videoing slaughterhouse atrocities.

  5. Armando Varas Says:

    It is insanity, almost everyone that support this outrageous practice argue that no baby seal killing is allowed anymore (if you can claim that a 14 days old seal is not a baby) and that crushing their skulls is an humane way of doing the killing (no different for the methods used for killing cows, ducks or pigs) or that the economy of the people living on the remote areas of Canada won’t be able to support them self’s (when Canada is one of the top economies of the world). In my opinion no excuse or argument is valid; the killing of any living thing for money is outrageous. No matter what wild life should be preserved and alternative ways of profits should be explore like eco-tourism…

    The supposed arguments for sealing are no more than excuses to a massacre. After reading the Canadian legislation and the actual facts of the killing (sorry hunting), I found my self in the position against this practice. My reasons are as follow: the fur is a luxury item and all that sheered blood is completely meaningless. The government of Canada can invest and promote more profitable economic activities like eco-tourism even reallocate the killing (sorry hunters) to that area of the economy and they would gain more money than in their killing activities (sorry hunting). Is in my honest believe that Canada is full of smart guys who can develop an inventive (not environmental treating activity) to exploit all that beautiful surroundings (Tourism, Ecotourism, Ecosoport!!). I also believe that Canada is smart enough to realize that the seal killing (sorry hunting) is not an activity that will last forever, sooner or later the seals will be on the edge of extinction and when than moment comes all the Killers (hunters) will be out of job. I wonder if it’s not a better idea to prevent that to happen I just wonder.

    The excuse for the killing method is an excuse for doing something that everybody know is cruel. Imagine a human being killed that way, is it really a human way to die? If so I should propose this killing method as the one use in the executions (death is almost instantaneous right). I’m sure that with just one strike the condemned will suffer less than with the lethal injection, don’t you agree.

    So please stop acting like humanitarians, stop bleeding, but more importantly stop pretending that we own the planet and understand that we are here as guests not as owners!! STOP THE KILLING!! BE HUMANS NOT MONSTERS!!

  6. belita Says:

    humans are the worse predators in the universe, canadians fisherman, japanese , chinese, russians and more nationalities are monsters of this world. they don’t care about nature and living creatures that “GOD” created. they have no rights to kill any animals, that’s why i don’t fell sorry for those who lose their lives trying to kill any animal, sorry but animals have the right to defend their lives.and mother nature one day will make justice.

  7. aya Says:

    damn canada!!!!!!
    stop killing the baby seals!!!

  8. tanisha Says:

    gawd this is so cruel! any animal cruelty should be stopped it is un-needed and just being done out of ignorance!

  9. Laura Says:

    That was terrible. I mean, I have so many wild animals like possums (im not sure if its the same as an opossum) coming to my door to get the cat-food from outside. but never in my life would i let anyone of my family members kill them (those animals could be cute.)
    But how can you get the message out that people are killing other animals that may not be as important as seals, or animals like that? What can americans so care about this stuff do?
    is there anything we can do?

  10. sarah Says:

    Yes, Laura, there is something Americans can do about animal cruelty. Get involved with agencies like the Humane Society, Sea Shepard, or Green Peace. Petition local law makers and get more stringent animal rights laws on the books. It may be a slow start, but any progress that is made in this area will hopefully beget more progress. Talk to everyone you know about the seal hunt. Research the hunt thoroughly so that you have bullet proof arguments. I have been working against the hunt ever since the 70′s, until it was banned for a period of time, and then have been working against it since it was reinstated in the 90′s. Historically, this is a hunt that has been going on for a long time– since the 1700′s, in one form or another. And people have been hunting these seals for generations upon generations. All I can say it, become active and petition the US and canadian governments to stop the hunt. There is NO EXCUSE in this whole world that would support the killing of a seal, for any reason. An 11-day old seal is still an infant. The baby cannot swim– it would drown if put in the water. The baby cannot feed itself. It is a helpless infant without even its adult chance to defend itself. This is like letting a wolf loose in a human baby nursery. And don’t tell me that a human baby would stand a chance. Canadians are allowing infanticide of these baby animals, right in front of their own mothers. As a mother myself, no one had ever better try to harm my child, and I am sure these seal mothers feel the same way, and have the same emotional pain, but someone stronger has overpowered them. It’s really a sick practice. -Sarah

  11. Ben Mok Says:

    It’s time we made a difference canadians I always thought they were up to something I am 13 years old even I think this world is really creul. First of all if we care so much of a 5 family opposum and not care about 275000 baby seals dieing… everyday o.o
    then that’s kind of messed up. Dood just let the F-ing seals go they have lives too, all this for money is the media considering this or what? This is bad

  12. Andrew Says:

    Hundreds of millions of animals are killed every year in the mechanical harvest of crops. I’m sure some of them are even as cute as baby seals. I guess you better make sure that you only eat hand-picked vegetables from now on.

  13. Jennifer Says:

    Killing millions of selas or any animals are cruelity. You should stop it, because they have a life like ours. They need to survive. Killing animals are effen harsh, seriously. People from everywhere should stop this nonsense, its no good. These animals are beautiful creatures. You of all people should know this, you should know that is no good to be doing this to the animals. Soon, they will be extict, then what you gonna feed on? There shall be a stop on this. More and more animals will die, they wont come back then all would suffer for more meat, we all dont want this. So please just STOP THIS BULLS*** ok …

  14. H.Lavallee Says:

    You information is false as there is no such hunt within Canada for Baby harp Seals…get your story straight before you publish such misinformed statements.

  15. Josh Johnson Says:

    This is animal cruelty! We need to put a stop to these terribble things. American alligators are also endangered now because of people killing them for skin and skulls. They are also being sold! If this continues it might wipe out the whole american alligator species!!!

  16. PocketMouse Says:

    Don’t compare the slaughter of baby seals to livestock!! Harp seals are wild animals that serve an important role in the ecosystem and face the possibility of becoming endangered. Even though they’re not officially listed as endangered yet doesn’t mean their population hasn’t been severely declining over the years. Also, the meat for livestock gets eaten whereas these seals are mainly hunted for their skin for those stupid celebrities to wear. There are many pictures and videos of blood-stained ice floes littered with hundreds of thousands of rotting carcasses to prove the fact.

  17. Maybelle Stoos Says:

    Nice summary of what’s required for a successful website. Will be sharing!

  18. Sherley Menger Says:

    What a fun adventure! Great pics as always!

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