Over 63,800 seal pups less than 2 months of age, including over 1,550 seal pups less than 3 weeks of age have been massacred so far in Canada's seal 'hunt'. The sealers are now killing seals each day in the northern Gulf of St. Lawrence and on the Front, off Newfoundland and Labrador. The kill quota for 2012: 400,000 seals.
A mother harp seal mourns over bloodied and skinned remains of her baby.
Image from AnimalsVoice.com
This year, the markets for seal pelts are much smaller thanks to the ban on seal product imports by Russia (see information below). However, the government of Newfoundland and Labrador has decided to prop up the 'industry' by giving the main seal skin processor, Carino (owned by G.C. Reiber, based in Norway) a $3.6 million loan with which to buy seal skins and blubber for a nearly non-existent market. This could spell death for over 100,000 seal pups.
The government claims that this will provide income to hundreds of sealers. Straight payouts to 1,000 sealers would provide $3,600 per sealer, much more than sealers have made from the spring seal killing sprees in recent years.
The government of Newfoundland and Labrador has not disclosed terms of the loan nor how Carino would be expected to be able to repay it given the lack of markets for seal products.
On top of this, the province is now giving money to a fur company to promote seal furs in Toronto.