Canada still holds a massive seal hunting season every year, along parts of the eastern Canadian coastline. The hunt quota for harp seals in 2009 was 280,000 seals. Very young seals, or “white coats” are no longer allowed to be hunted, mainly because the image of baby seals being clubbed to death was so disturbing to many people. However, baby seals lose their white coat when they are only about two weeks old, and after that they can be hunted – so it’s unclear how much good the human preference for white seal pups actually does for the seals. Some people argue that the seal hunts are important to the economy in parts of Canada where they occur, but animal rights groups and some environmental organizations continue to oppose the hunt, arguing that the contribution to the economy is insignificant.
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