Canada Prepares to Slaughter its Seals
Written by Danny Penman
On the ice floes off Eastern Canada a horror story is about to unfold. Over the coming days tens of thousands of baby seals will be clubbed and hacked to death. Hundreds of thousands more will be shot and left to die. The lucky ones will die swiftly. Many will suffer long lingering deaths. Four years ago I was the first British journalist in a generation to witness the annual Canadian baby seal slaughter. I’ve been covering it for the Daily Mail ever since. It was the most traumatic and bewildering story I have ever covered – and one I am determined to continue exposing until the slaughter has ended.
I first caught sight of the slaughter from a helicopter circling 500 feet above the Gulf of St Lawrence. The ice was blood red. For as far as the eye could see, men were dragging bleeding baby seals across the ice. Huge piles of drippping carcasses littered the arctic wilderness.
When we landed the Canadians put on a show for us. One calmly walked over to a baby seal and belted her with his iron tipped club. Her jaw shattered and the sound of splintering bone filled the air. The sealer then flipped the baby over onto her back and began slicing open her throat. The seal began screaming and wriggling furiously. She was still alive and fully conscious. The sealer hit her again and began cutting open her stomach. The poor baby began screaming again, so the Canadian sealer hit her a third time. This time, I hoped, she was dead.
This was not unusual. I directly saw about one hundred seals slaughtered before my eyes. About half of them were skinned alive. I watched as these animals had their skins peeled off whilst they were struggling frantically to escape. Most were only two weeks old.