THE European Union’s Environment Committee voted against the importation of products derived from seals last week and it was decisive: 43 in favour and one abstention.
The harvesting of seals is considered “morally unacceptable” and “in humane” but even with a ban on the commercial use of the seal products, seals would be culled in Canada to control population numbers.
I have previously suggested that just two criteria be applied to the harvest of an animal species: is the harvest sustainable and is the harvest humane.
The number of seals killed each year is regulated through a strict quota system in Canada, Norway and Namibia and to some extent in Greenland and Russia.
It is the Canadian harvest that is considered most inhumane with the hakapik still used to club the animals. But is it really that inhumane, quoting Wikipedia:
According to recent studies done by the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA), the hakapik, when used properly, kills the animal quickly and painlessly. Several American studies carried out from 1969-1972 in the Pribilof Islands of Alaska came to the same conclusion. The Royal Commission on Seals and Sealing in Canada, also known as the Malouf Commission, claims that properly performed clubbing is at least as humane as the methods used in commercial slaughterhouses, and according to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), these studies “have consistently proven that the club or hakapik is an efficient tool designed to kill the animal quickly and humanely.”
The issue appears to very much one of perception, with the manual outdoor killing of young animals, in a beautiful setting, offending many.
Photograph of the hakapik from Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hakapik
spangled drongo says
We live in a very hypocritical world. This is celebrity politics. Animal rights activists that go to great lengths to show blood and corpses of baby seals in the snow are always going to win this argument.
There is only so much that Nunavuts can do to earn an honest, sustainable living and this pretty much puts an end to that.
A great resource like sustainably harvested seal skins will now be virtually worthless.
As long as a fishery is sustainable, I have no problems with it…….. As for clubbing seals. It’s a quick and effective means of killing. But like anything manual, there will be a few exceptions.
The EU is wrong on this. People are being dictated to by a powerful minority….. Still, not long from now the EU may be begging people to sell to it’s market… It is after all, only a market.
Seals are pretty. So we must not hurt them.
Pigs are ugly, so we can hurt them. Until some celebrity decides pigs are pretty,too.
Ah! Wiki, the source of all Jen’s information. Says it all really. Now let’s wait for IceMan to bring up European women….Nope we have not really evolved as a species when you see the level of debate here LOL!
Support the sustainable swilers!
Don’t polar bears kill seals? Rip their heads off I believe?
Ban polar bears!