Got an idea for a holiday? Send it to us

Submit Now

International Day of Action Against Canadian Seal Slaughter – March 15, 2023

International Day of Action Against Canadian Seal Slaughter is observed on March 15 every year. On this day, Canadians join concerned citizens around the world in protesting the horrific killing of young seals. With the recent adoption of new regulations in the commercial seal hunt that allow for the slaughter of even more seals, this time-honored ‘custom’ — which is not a tradition — is sure to establish a new record in terms of brutality and barbarity. According to the Canadian government, “This is an exciting time for Canadian sealers as they prepare to once again ply their old trade, three years after seal pups have fully recovered from the impacts of shortage and are now breeding at rates projected to be higher than ever before.” This day of observance is used as a means to appeal to the plight of baby seals and warn about the dangers of killing them.

History of International Day of Action Against Canadian Seal Slaughter

Canadian seal pups are brutally clubbed to death or shot at close range in the late spring and early summer. The annual slaughter is inhumane, unnecessary, and overwhelmingly opposed by the Canadian public.

Seals are slaughtered for their fur, but due to a dwindling worldwide fur market, there isn’t enough demand for sealskins to support this inhumane activity. Seals can also be killed for their fat, which can then be turned into oil and marketed as a health supplement or fuel. However, with new technology and alternatives available, there is little incentive to continue killing seals for any product.

In 2004, the first International Day of Action Against Canadian Seal Slaughter was held in New York City and was organized by the I.F.A.W. The event took place on February 28 at Grand Central Terminal. It was a major success, with over 100 protesters and media coverage from several major television stations and newspapers.

International Day of Action Against Canadian Seal Slaughter timeline

1515
First Commercial Hunting of Seals

The first commercial hunting of seals by Europeans takes place when a cargo of fur seal skins from Uruguay is sent to Spain for sale in the markets of Seville.

1972
The U.S. Ban Seal Products

The U.S. ban the importation of all seal products from Canada unless they meet certain safety standards.

1983
European Union Banned Importation of Pelts

In a move to protect young harp seals, the European Union decides to ban the importation of pelts taken from seals less than two weeks old.

2004
The First Event

The first International Day of Action Against Canadian Seal Slaughter is held in New York City and organized by the I.F.A.W.

International Day of Action Against Canadian Seal Slaughter FAQs

Does Canada still allow seal slaughter?

Seals are protected from hunters in Canada. Since 1987, whitecoats—newborn seal pups—have been protected by law. By the time they are three or four weeks old, their white fur will have fallen out and been replaced with brown or grey fur. Canada’s government says it enforces a humane kill method on hunted seals, including killing them quickly with a high-powered rifle shot to the head.

Why is seal hunting controversial?

One of the most significant moral issues in the seal hunting controversy has been the careless, deliberate promotion of racial discrimination and hatred aimed at Newfoundlanders and Canadians by groups and individuals whose primary aim is to raise funds.

How much is a seal pelt worth?

Today, the fur of a seal can retail for $15. After the captain takes his cut, hunters receive around $3 per pelt. Seal pelts are not particularly lucrative until the retail stage, but hunters must go through a thorough process to get to that point.

How to Observe International Day of Action Against Canadian Seal Slaughter

  1. Tell your friends about the Canadian seal slaughter

    Every year, hundreds of thousands of people visit this site to learn more about the Canadian seal killing. Many people are unaware of its size or that its victims are baby seals rather than adult seals. You must inform your friends about what people do to helpless newborn seals each spring so that they can be educated.

  2. Donate to a campaign

    If you have some extra money, consider donating it to an organization that is working to end the commercial seal slaughter in Canada. Some organizations are on the ground at the killing sites, documenting what happens so they can raise more awareness around the issue with members of their organization and others who care about animal welfare issues like cruelty and abuse. Others work behind-the-scenes drafting legislation and working with lawmakers to pass laws that would put an end to the commercial seal slaughter

  3. Distribute a petition and urge others to sign it

    Petitioning is one of the most effective ways to raise awareness about an issue. You can circulate a petition amongst friends, family, and neighbors, or you can set up tables at local events, such as concerts or sporting events. You can also go door-to-door in your neighborhood with the petition. If you need help creating a petition, you can use online petition services such as Change.org or Care2 by following their instructions on how to start petitions on their sites.

5 Reasons Seals Should Not Be Hunted

  1. Hunting endangers seal populations

    The North Atlantic Marine Mammal Commission warns that seal populations will decline if hunting continues and shows no signs of decreasing.

  2. Seal fur

    Harpseals.org reports that about 95% of the seals killed in the commercial seal hunt are just three weeks to three months old.

  3. Killing seals won't save fish

    According to Sea Shepherd, a harp seal's diet consists of only 3% cod.

  4. Humans will survive without seal fur

    Ultimately, the general population does not need to kill seals to stay warm or eat meat.

  5. Seal hunting is extremely cruel

    P.E.T.A. claims that sealers typically use clubs or hakapiks topped by barbed hammerheads to kill the animals.

Why International Day of Action Against Canadian Seal Slaughter is Important

  1. It brings people together

    The event brings together animal rights activists from around the world in a show of solidarity that aims to raise awareness about the unnecessary nature of the Canadian commercial seal hunt. Raise your voices today!

  2. t helps spread awareness about commercial seal slaughter

    The International Day of Action Against Canadian Seal Slaughter is important because it helps spread awareness about commercial seal slaughter. It also allows people to take action against the cruel seal hunt in Canada and become more active in animal rights and wildlife conservation.

  3. It encourages companies to stop producing products made from seals

    The day is also essential because it encourages companies to stop producing products made from seals like fur coats, rugs, and meat. Pressure from consumers can be very effective in changing what corporations decide to make and sell.

International Day of Action Against Canadian Seal Slaughter dates

YearDateDay
2023March 15Wednesday
2024March 15Friday
2025March 15Saturday
2026March 15Sunday
2027March 15Monday

Want to sponsor this holiday?

Holidays Straight to Your Inbox

Every day is a holiday!
Receive fresh holidays directly to your inbox.