By Candace Calloway Whiting
It seems that Canada is not all maple syrup after all; the government supported baby seal slaughter is set to resume on April 10th, with a quota set just under a half a million seal pups.
While the barbaric practice is supposedly market driven by demand for the seal skins, the truth is that the Canadian government spends millions more in regulating the hunt than is generated in income.
Part of the expense is in insuring the humaneness of the hunt the following text is taken from those regulations; if you are not convinced that there is anything humane or logical about the seal hunt, please join in Tweeting #sealhunt on April 10th or consider signing this petition. More information can be found at the Humane Society International and the International Fund for Animal Welfare.
The humane techniques:
(1.1) No person shall use a club or hakapik to strike a seal older than one year unless the seal has been shot with a firearm.
(2) Every person who strikes a seal with a club or hakapik shall strike the seal on the top of the cranium until it has been crushed and shall immediately palpate the cranium to confirm that it has been crushed.
(3) If a firearm is used to fish for a seal, the person who shoots the seal or retrieves it shall palpate the cranium as soon as possible after it is shot to confirm that the cranium has been crushed.
(4) Every person who palpates the cranium of a seal and determines that the cranium is not crushed shall immediately strike the seal with a club or hakapik on the top of its cranium until the cranium has been crushed
29 No person shall skin a seal until the cranium has been crushed and at least one minute has elapsed after the two axillary arteries of the seal located beneath its front flippers have been severed to bleed the seal.
28 (1) No person shall fish for seals, for personal or commercial use, in any of Sealing Areas 4 to 33 except with
(a) a round club made of hardwood that measures not less than 60 cm and not more than 1 m in length and that, for at least half of its length, beginning at one end, measures not less than 5 cm and not more than 7.6 cm in diameter;
(b) an instrument known as a hakapik, consisting of a metal ferrule that weighs at least 340 g with a slightly bent spike not more than 14 cm in length on one side of the ferrule and a blunt projection not more than 1.3 cm in length on the opposite side of the ferrule and that is attached to a wooden handle that measures not less than 105 cm and not more than 153 cm in length and not less than 3 cm and not more than 5.1 cm in diameter;
(c) a rifle and bullets that are not full metal-jacketed that produce a muzzle velocity of not less than 1,800 feet per second and a muzzle energy of not less than 1,100 foot pounds; or
(d) a shotgun of not less than 20 gauge and rifled slugs.
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