Saturday, April 05, 2008

The Canadian seal hunt is on (and the Brits are getting an eyeful)

I've mentioned the changes the Canadian government announced this year to present the seal hunt as having become more humane. In the face of a possible EU ban on seal products that hinges on the horrific cruelty of the hunt, the feds hoped to present it in a better light. Everywhere in the news, however, there have been reports of how attempts by activists and the media to observe the purported effects of these changes in legislation on actual practices have been thwarted by officials, as well as by the seal hunters. (Actually, the term "seal hunter" is erroneous. From the footage and photos I've seen, these guys are more or less just walking right up to seals and clubbing them or axing them. There's not much "hunting" involved.) This account in Thursday's UK Daily Mail of one of their reporter's recent attempts to go observe the cull illustrates precisely that nothing has changed (warning: the story includes some very graphic photos and descriptions). This is happening as a delegation of Canadian politicians, sealers and public relations types recently visited Brussels to try make a last ditch case against the EU's possible ban. I really hope that more evidence makes it way to Europeans so that they can pressure their leaders to go forward with this thing. Belgium and The Netherlands imposed their own bans last year; it's time for the rest of Europe to take action.

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