New Seal Hunt

Canadian government subsidises the slaughter of seals

New Seal Hunt Seal-culling in Canada is now legal and seal lovers are outraged. Images of baby seals being clubbed to death created a public outcry in the 80's, and the Canadian government banned the practice. But the collapse of the fishing industry after disastrous over-fishing has made it change its mind.
Sealers must now take courses in how to kill humanely. One instructor claims the seals are killed instantly with a single gunshot. But graphic video footage reveals the seals are still being clubbed. As the sealing season nears, hunters meet at the harbour to plan. Each has come to terms with their grim task. "When one of the baby seals looks at you with his big crying eyes, he's so cute that you can't kill him and you must get another one". Paul Watson has been fighting culling for 20 years, and forced the government to ban the practice in the 80s. Today he stations his boat in a large seal colony which is going to be hunted. His team rescue pups that fall through the breaking ice and cannot swim. The Canadian government subsidises the industry by up to $7million, but claims it will be worth $100million by the year 2,000. The slaughter remains profound and has put the Canadian government in the moral spotlight once again.

Produced by ABC Australia

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