Animal Protection > Worldwide Actions > Canada
Canadian Newfoundland Sealers Admit to Their Crimes

printer friendly, larger print version

This letter was sent to the EU Parliament.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Subject: Canadian Newfoundland Sealers admit to their Crimes.


Dear EU Officials,

I am writing to you as a Canadaian citizen with great concern regarding the upcoming decision of the Eurolpian Union's ban on Canadian Seal products.

Please take a moment to read through the information provided below by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Government of Canada.


The following is direct testimony from sealers, taken by Department of Fisheries and Oceans staff. It was obtained through Access to Information laws, and contains graphic descriptions of animal cruelty. To date, seven charges have been laid as a result of the investigation, but only one had resulted in a court hearing.

"Prior to March most females were killed with the pup inside them. I seen seven pups threw over the side after the female was pelted. I took two out myself. Me and another sealer even agreed that this was shocking and there should be another way to hunt seals. We were in the whelping on March 10/98 because I observed that eight of tens pans of ice had young pups with the after birth and other debris from the birth on the ice. There was once I can remember the young seal watching his parents being hoist aboard. He watched the boat as we steamed away. The pups were not killed but left by themselves on the ice." Sealer's statement, taken by Fergus Foley, Department of Fisheries and Oceans

"I did see some mother seals killed and the pup fall out on deck still alive. (Deleted) told me to throw it overboard and I did. It crawled up on a pan of ice. The mother was full of milk, the milk ran out on deck when the pup fell out." Sealer's statement, taken by Cyril Furlong, Department of Fisheries and Oceans

"I was present when female seals were pelted and did see pups fall out of the female on deck. I seen this happen twice and know that it happened eight to ten times during the first trip. I knew this happened because of conversations with the crew. The two pups that I saw on deck were alive. The pups were threw over board and on one occasion I did see one of these pups swimming in the water. I don't know what happened to the pups." Sealer's statement, taken by Cyril Furlong, Department of Fisheries and Oceans

"I seen a female being pelted and the pup came out of her when they cut her open, the pup was dead. This seal was killed for a while. This was on the day we got one hundred and seventy. Someone passed the comment, 'If Green peace were only here to see this.'" Sealer's statement, taken by Fergus Foley, Department of Fisheries and Oceans 

* When mothers are killed and their newborn pups abandoned on the ice, there is no chance of survival for the pup. In every case, the baby seal would have starved to death slowly.

Canadian Seal clubbers kill seal's babies, they admit illegally killing bluebacks (baby seals), Seal killers violate the law, they kill pups, seal hunters killed foetuses, Sealers killed pregnant mother seals, they killed parents and left the babies stranded with no mother's food, they killed the mothers and dumped the baby who cant swim yet, into the water, they watched seals drown, they cut them open without making sure they were dead, they cut open & scalped ones that were still moving, they KNEW it was illegal and gloated that observers weren't around and so they could get away with it and kill and mutilate them and dump them into the ocean and get rid of the evidence. They used illegal weapons, squirted mothers milk all over their boat deck, sliced into the mothers' uteruses, sealers go illegally into the whelping grounds which is like a man going into a nursery and bludgeoning babies, which pro-sealers deny but you see below they admitted it is true, under testimony and obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

Thank you for your attention.

Please consider a Total Ban on Canadian Seal Products.

Comments by Barry MacKay

There is, speaking very generally, of course, a disconnect between the seal-hunt apologists in Canada, and the reality.

Seal hunt apologists in government and media have assumed a level of accuracy in government pronouncements that don't exist in reality.

I call this the Charles Smith Syndrome, named after a now disgraced Ontario pathologist whose testimony sent many innocent people to jail for killing their children, utterly ruining many lives.

It turns out that his work was very sloppy and biased and he didn't understand his true role within the court system, but he carried the essential gravitas, the appearance of authority by virtue of his degrees and publications and manner, that led prosecutors, juries, police, media, etc., to accept what he had to say, uncritically and with little or no reservation.

Only critical, third party examination of his material after the fact showed his conclusions were often badly flawed, even outrightly incorrect.

What organizations like HSI and IFAW have done, is present to the Europeans, the information (such as the testimony, below) that illustrates the truth of their own concerns and the mendacity of the Canadian authorities.

There have been several pro-hunt editorials and commentaries urging the Canadian government to go to Europe and set the record straight, and to show how the "animal rights" movement has been misrepresenting the hunt.

But the fact is that with some exceptions to be sure, the "animal rights" movement in general, and HSI in particular, have done is to show factual material and analysis to the Europeans that demonstrates the brutality and the waste of the hunt.

Canadians often don't understand, as well, that while there is indeed hypocrisy in Europeans condemning one type of animal cruelty while condoning their own, they, the Euros, really are NOT condoning their own abuse of animals...they are far ahead of Canada in legislating against institutionalized cruelty against animals. They are aware of this, even if Canada, and Canadians, often are not.

The Charles Smith Syndrome can be widely applied...for example, to the current fiscal meltdown that started in the US and has led to a world wide recession, because assumptions were made about the competency of Wall Street that weren't warranted...or the war in Iraq...remember Colin Powell's address to the UN that convinced so many that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction?

The new regulations that are designed to assure a "humane kill" miss the point that the old regulations did the same thing. But they are impossible to enforce.

The area of the hunt is huge...when Europeans are told that it covers an area the size of France, they get it. They understand how difficult it is to enforce anything in such a large region, and that the legal "need" to bash in the skull of the seal so thoroughly that it is undoubtedly dead is balanced against greed, which dictates the more seals killed, the more short cuts taken, the greater the profits to be made in a situation where the first "need", the law, is mostly irrelevant.

Another mistake the Canadian seal hunt apologists (read government) made in Europe was lying about us...lies easily disproved. One such lie was that "we" (HSI and IFAW principally) used old or faked footage. was current, and modern technology makes it easy to show that it is does direct observation, which the Europeans have done.

I can't fully explain the willful ignorance of the Canadian media (actually, I have some ideas, but it would take a huge time to get into them) in balance, but it is an ignorance not shared by their European counterparts who have taken an unbiased look at the issue and not just believed what they've been told.


Fair Use Notice and Disclaimer
Send questions or comments about this web site to Ann Berlin,