Canadian and Norwegian hunters slaughtered 12,000 baby Harp seals on the first day of Canada's annual spring hunt on Monday (15 March) despite the efforts of two conservation groups.
MV Protesters' helicopter lands on ice
SV Protesters talking (2 shots)
GV ZOOM IN Hunters' ship
SV Woman protester protects young seal, hunters move towards another seal, then run back and club original seal
SV Baby seal
SV Hunter clubs seal
GV Mother and baby seals run off
SV ZOOM IN Baby seal
GV Helicopter files off over hunters' ship
Initials BB/1900 MW/DK/BB/1920
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Background: Canadian and Norwegian hunters slaughtered 12,000 baby Harp seals on the first day of Canada's annual spring hunt on Monday (15 March) despite the efforts of two conservation groups.
Conservationists claim they saved many more by forming a human barrier to halt one Norwegian ship cutting through the ice to the seals. They also protected individual seal pups by standing between them and the hunters.
One of the groups, the International Fund for animal Welfare, had its helicopter confiscated by Canadian fisheries officials after it landed within half a mile of a seal herd, against fisheries regulations.
The second group, the Greenpeace Foundation, based in Vancouver, was forced to abandon plans to spray the pups with green dye -- making their pelts worthless -- after a stormy meeting with local residents. The people of St. Anthony, a small village in northern Newfoundland, said they depended on the sale of seal pelts for most of their income.
The annual seal kill has brought angry reaction from conservationists for many years.
The hunters kill the seals with wooden clubs, hooks, or the Norwegian instrument with a weighted end called "hakapiks", then skin them on the spot.
The Canadian government has set a skill limit of 127,000, because of fears the Harp seal may become extinct.
The hunt does not end until 24 April.
SYNOPSIS: Conservationists were out in force on the ice floes off the Newfoundland coast on Monday, the first day of the annual seal hunt. Members of two conservation groups had planned to stop the slaughter by putting themselves between the seals and the hunters.
In this moving sequence, two hunters manage to thwart the attempts of one of the conservationists, an airline hostess trying to protect this young seal.
The annual hunt has brought angry reactions from conservationists for years. They say the harp seal is threatened with extinction.
On this, the first day of the hunt, 12,000 young seals died. The conservationists say they saved many more from the hunters, who kill the seals with hooks, clubs or the Norwegian instrument, the "hakapick".
The Canadian government has set a limit of 127,000 seals to be killed. But the conservationist??? are also objecting to what they say are cruel methods used by the hunters.