Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Canadian government kills 320,000 seals to satisfy seal meat seafood fetish

Activists to fight seal, elephant culls
Canada said last week it would allow hunters to kill 320,000 young seals on the ice floes off its Atlantic coast from Tuesday and earlier this month a South African official told Reuters that national parks were leaning towards an elephant cull.

Ottawa says the seal hunt helps ensure the health of what it describes as a booming seal population. It insists the activity is humane, but animal rights groups say many seals are skinned alive and die in agony.

For many fishermen in Newfoundland, struggling in the wake of the collapse of the cod fishery over a decade ago, sealing is one of their few sources of income.

Critics have questioned the science behind the hunt.

"The Atlantic seal hunt management plan is based on bad science, incorrect assumptions and flawed modeling," said Mhairi Dunlop of Greenpeace.

In South Africa, national park authorities say the burgeoning elephant population in the flag-ship Kruger National Park has made culling a necessity. The park has an estimated 12,000 ponderous pachyderms, well above the estimated "carrying capacity" of around 7,000.

Animal rights activists are horrified at the prospect of a return to culling elephants, which involves the herding and shooting of entire family groups.

There's a human population problem too, ya' know? But they're not going to open up the hunting season there.

It's not really a good article, and there are issues of conservation ecology on both sides of these issues, and they really aren't expressed for either side in this article, but people should at least know this sort of thing is going on... So... There it is.

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