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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Most Canadians are well acquainted with seal hunts, probably most of the world. Some of us may also know that it's a wasteful hunt, with carcasses and organs being left behind or tossed as the hunt is to obtain hides. There simply is not a market for seal meat.
To be clear I am referring to the commercial hunts not the hunting done by our countries indigenous people.

In light of pet food companies struggling to find clean sources of meat for dog and cat food is there some reason that we could not use the meat left from the seal hunts for dog food? Honest question. Clearly we don't want to be killing the number of seals necessary to make this a huge thing, but would there not be a way to utilize the meat from annual hunts?
 

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Anything that makes the hunts more profitable keeps them doing it longer. It would mean giving money to those guys. Clubbing helpless, white baby seals to make dog food is not an image any brand is going to want to have associated with their food or brand identity -- I remember as a kid decades ago when there were calls to stop buying anything Canadian after those horrifying pictures of baby seal heads being bashed in aired on TV. I didn't even realize they still did it -- I thought it had stopped.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The hunts are already heavily regulated. And will continue to be, it has to do with breeding season and the age of the pups. It's illegal to hunt the whites anymore, has been since the 70's sometime I believe.
I am not a fan of the seal hunts, but I would rather see the meat used then wasted. Outside of the north and Newfoundland no one is eating seal meat.
 

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I assume the Inuit's dogs eat it? So why not ours? I hope they give it away for free instead of letting it go to waste to prevent profit issues. If we feed happily chickens, ducks and rabbits (read: bunnies!;) ), why not seal meat, given that it is healthy for dogs.
 

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First, thank you Sabis mom for distinguishing between indigenous subsistence hunters and commercial hunters. HUGE difference, and I really appreciate that you acknowledged you were speaking specifically about commercial hunters.

Second, I don't think there's an issue with feeding seal meat aside from possible concerns about biomagnification since they're carnivores. However, as other posts note, the PR would be a nightmare. It doesn't matter how logical it is that it would prevent the meat from going to waste, I don't think anyone would touch it with a ten foot pole (in imperial measurements ;)) purely because of the public backlash.

It's too easy for animal rights people to share cute photos of seals and talk about murder and the next thing you know you've got thousands of people calling and emailing and getting media involved....
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I honestly don't know if it's safe to feed. I know Polar Bears eat seal, so do Orcas.

It was just a thought since my primary issue with the whole hunt is the waste.

People need to educate themselves, Harp Seals are not in any danger of over hunting. And the damage that their over population does to shore lines and nesting grounds is serious. To say that the issue is that they kill babies is hypocritical. The meat supplied to our grocery stores is from baby animals. Commercial farms, not fun places. Veal is from baby cows and you pay MORE for the privilege of eating them.
No one ever protests the trapping of Muskrats, using leg hold traps. Otters are cute to.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I did not start this thread to get into a debate about sealers, I was honestly curious if the meat would be a viable source of protein and what others thought about the meat as a potential clean protein in dog food. I don't know if it's safe for dogs to eat seal. I had never really thought about it.
 

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Is Eating Seal Meat OK? - Food Republic

I did not know that the meat was left behind after the pelts were harvested. What a terrible sin! All it would take for this horrid mistake to be fixed is
1) a few five-star restaraunts serving dishes of seal meat,
2) some brave food reviewers giving it fair evaluations and (most importantly),
3) steely verbal push-back against any virtue-signalling PETA types who want to stage tantrums over the consumption of seal meat. It must be strongly, even indignantly said that the harvesting of seal pelts is going to happen, and if it does, than the killing of those animals is less odious to human sensitivities if the meat is at least used as nourishment.

As we learned from redfish and monkfish popularity here in the US, yesterday's "trash fish" is today's ultra-popular menu item with new ways of preparing the meat and a little sly marketing.

Dog food? No, seal meat is people food!
 

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Ask Carmen for her thoughts. I had a conversation years ago with her that morphed into seals. I think seal oil. It was a very disjointed conversation but she did have some thoughts that might answer your question. Personally, I would look into it and consider it as wild game.
 

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I have looked into seal oil decades ago .
I had a team that did comparative research - seal vs fish oil .
A lot of interest ---

the question was does omega 3 with DHA and EPA from a MAMMALIAN source , seal,
have greater benefit than fish ..

there is a suggestion that the answer is yes .

seal oil has DPA as well as EPA and DHA , and that is hard to find.

you can buy seal oil from amazon sites -- or in health food stores .

Uncle Bill's is one company . The oil is Canadian Harp Seal.

I do take it myself , as do friends that I introduced it to . Very squeamish at the outset but
impressed with the results .
 

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Discussion Starter #15
@carmspack-would the meat be a viable protein for dogs?

For anyone else who is concerned Harp Seal populations are thriving. With numbers in the millions, if the meat is safe for consumption I would much rather see them harvested then our struggling Bison or Elk herds which no one protests.
 

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Are these seals ethically harvested? Are there companies to avoid due to ethics or quality?
 

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So the thing I would research would be toxins in the actual meat and fat. Depending on the waters they are feeding in, their food source could be very tainted. With seal being very fatty and relatively long lived, that is what I would be researching. I hunt and always have similar concerns. With what limited info I have been able to find, leaner animals=fewer stored toxins. I have had bear before, but I won't eat the fatty cuts. I have read that fat stores a lot of junk. Worth researching.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Are these seals ethically harvested? Are there companies to avoid due to ethics or quality?
I honestly don't know much about the seal hunts on the processing end. I know the hunting is pretty focused and you can bet that I will be looking into it. To the best of my knowledge there are one or two large companies that process the pelts but the meat is largely wasted and that is the part that bothers me.
If anyone is interested in learning more please read publications that are non biased. The hunting is heavily regulated and closely monitored. Articles written by protection groups tend to weigh heavy on the adorable pictures of white coats, which actually cannot be hunted.
In North America we allow the killing of Bison, Elk, Caribou, Wolves and Grizzlies all of which are in need of protection and have dwindling numbers.
North America

Bison-500,00
Elk-800,00
Caribou-unknown estimated at about 300,00
Wolf-78,00
Grizzly-50,000

Harp Seals-7-8 million total, 4-6 million in Canada
 

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It is akin to the bear hunt here. We are overpopulated. It is tightly controlled with conservation in mind. Like I said I hunt..can't do bear though. I've known too many up close and personal. (friend runs a sanctuary). It is a subjective thing indeed. As long as an animal is not endangered, and as long as there is no waste, I'm fine with it and I do participate selectively. People always have the argumant well if you eat bunnies, they are no less a furry cute animal than bear...well, certain animals mean something to some people. It is all good. Says the person who now has 2 pet rats and pythons for sale...
 
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