Seal Hunt: Shots Fired


On Friday, a seal hunter fired a rifle into the air shortly after three helicopters carrying anti-sealing activists and photographers landed near a sealing boat.

A group of six sealers aboard the boat began yelling at the dozen or so observers, some of whom were members of the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

The protesters, who are allowed to observe the hunt but must keep at least 10 metres from the sealers, were then approached by a least one sealer who was swinging a gaff, a 30-centimetre stick with a hook.

I can’t blame the sealers for fighting back. The seal hunt is no more or less inhumane than any other species harvest – wild or domestic, or the manner in which seals die in the wild.

This type of media coverage can’t get much better for the activist organizers. The ultimate hypocrisy is that the organizations the protesters represent are the largest beneficiaries of all – whatever the worth of a seal’s fur, it’s dwarfed by its value as an animal rights fund raiser. At the Humane Society of the United States ($85 million in assets), along with other members of the animal rights scam industry, they’ll be raising a glass of seal blood today to toast their good fortune.

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Kate McMillan
About Kate McMillan
Kate McMillan is the proprietor of small dead animals, which has won numerous awards including Best Conservative Blog and Best Canadian Blog. She contributed nearly 300 pieces to OTB between November 2004 and June 2007. Follow her on Twitter @katewerk.


  1. Andrea Cimino says:

    It is not surprising that these sealers who constantly violate the humane regulations and skin the animals while still conscious (40% of seals were skinned alive, according to veterinary reports) would attack peaceful, unarmed journalists and activists. The Canadian government should be ashamed for allowing this seal hunt to happen in the first place and should be ashamed that they are not punishing violent sealers who are breaking the laws and regulations. I am boycotting tourism to Canada until this sensless slaughter (that counts for a fraction of 1% of Newfoundland’s GDP) is stopped for good.

  2. Gwen says:

    For heaven’s sake, the sealers’ violence is NOT ONLY DIRECTED at seals! What kind of people volunteer to skin animals alive in front of their mothers?

    The same kind who fire shots at those who serve as witnesses.

    The hypocrisy is those who defend ASSAULT against human beings on economic grounds. I guess by your thinking, “Kate,” postal workers who take a machine gun to the office are justified too, huh?

    Nobody forced those sealers to turn violent. They did that all by their widdle selves. I feel no pity for them. This industry is barbaric, and sooner or later they’re going to have to join the industrial revolution and make a living some other way.

    For shame on anyone who “defends” sealers for, cough, “fighting back” by attacking human beings. Say what you like about the protesters and activists, they haven’t attacked anyone physically.

    That’s just the hunters who do that. Shame shame shame!

  3. Dan says:

    Those hypocritical protesters should go home and mind their own business. If they are wearing any leather, or if they eat beef, pork, poultry, or green beans for that matter, they should think about the suffering and loss of life caused when those products are prepared. Of course, those other animals and plants aren’t as cute, and that is the real point here, isn’t it? Slaughtering any animal is never pretty, but the good Lord made us omnivores for a reason. And your protest is ignorant of native and local traditions and is hurting the Inuit and Innu. Go back home to Disneyworld, you protesters aren’t welcome in Canada.

  4. Jeff Kunz says:

    I hope everyone can see that this is not a
    “hunt.” It is not about subsistence hunting…This is a cruel seal cull for profit and short-term gain for a few.
    There happens to be an Asian and European market for seal pelts, seal penis bone, and seal oil at this time
    that disregards the over-fished Grand Banks, global warming, ocean pollution, and unknown ecological tipping points in the Arctic and North Atlantic, of which this outdated “fisheries” industry, and scientific disinformation campaign may help to push into a negative downward spiral towards an environ collapse. The Canadian government owes the people of the Maritimes new and sustainable economic alternatives. They should abandon this “harvest” of marine mammals, and focus rather on ecologically sound industries.
    The beauty of the seals and the health of the North Atlantic are a world treasure, not a resource for a select group of businessmen.
    For more info. see:
    A seafood boycott is not a bad idea, but there should be a boycott on Maritime tourism, as well.
    Better yet, become a vegan.

  5. Michele says:

    Re: Dan’s comment on native and local traditions of the Inuit and Innu.

    Any native and local tradition endemic to any group in any nation, that includes cruelty to any creature is a tradition that MUST be outlawed.

    Any group that cannot live with such a ban must be brought into the 21st century.

    It is not so long ago that there were many cruel acts, perpetrated by many, so called civilized nations, that were considered acceptable. Over time these nations had to revise their laws despite the protests of some groups.

    Whenever there is the hint of cruelty in a tradition that tradition must be examined and if necessary banned.