The report was commissioned under the guise of recommending seal hunt regulation changes. A premise which seems unlikely because in 1996 Annemieke Roell, an IFAW campaigner for thirteen years, was fired when she attempted to broker a deal between the IFAW and sealers. The deal would have seen the IFAW have equal say in new regulations and regulation changes. How can one trust information or findings from IFAW employees when they fire those who do not say what they want to hear? How can one believe they wanted this report to prompt change within the seal hunt when they baulked at a deal which would have made the need for such a report redundant only five years previous?

The report accuses sealers of inhumane killing and torture via skinning seals alive. The data they used to come to these conclusions were skull examinations, long range observation and review of IFAW video from three years of hunts, 1998 - 2000. One of the first things a sealer does when skinning a seal is to cut the throat or main arteries under the flippers. If the seal happened to be alive but unconscious, these cuts would ensure death. Long range observation is contentious at best and, in relation to the accuracy of video review, the World Wildlife Fund prompted Independent Veterinarians Working Group (IVWG) Report of 2005 stated,
"Perception of the seal hunt seems to be based largely on emotion, and on visual images that are often difficult even for experienced observers to interpret with certainty."
In 1996 the IFAW bought scientists in Russia to further their cause and foster some semblance of reputability. They adopted the same strategy for Canada by setting up the International Marine Mammal Association (IMMA). After setting up the IMMA, the IFAW distanced itself from the association and now the IMMA seems to always have "findings" which support IFAW agendas. David Lavigne is executive director of the IMMA and, oddly enough, he had his say in the 2001 report as well.

Let's say we don't believe said allegations of extreme biased within the pages of this commentary. Let's say these individuals were above steering the results of the "report" due to personal belief or agenda. Finally, let's say you would be hard pressed to find a scientist which would not say that in any form of study mass amounts of research is a necessity. Research should also be performed on multiple samples from wide ranging conditions and the study should be repeated multiple times, in this case multiple years. Thus, heightening the accuracy and, in turn, the validity of the studies findings.

How many years did this crack squad of "scientists" study the hunt? One. Better yet, how many days did they study the hunt? Two. Two days in which they studied 133 seals. That same year 226,493 harp seals were killed. The sample for this study represents 0.0005% of the total number of seals killed in that year. Incredible. Science? I think not. Now let's just drift off to fantasy land for a moment and trust all the "data" contained within this report. The seals that were studied could very well have been an afternoon's work of one crew of sealers. One crew of say 4-5 guys and these "scientists" were willing to make blanket statements in the report in relation to the hunt as a whole. How absolutely ridiculous is that? Of course, this is not to mention blatantly ignoring traditional cleaning practices and death due to hemorrhaging.

When analyzing this report one must also keep in mind the fact that the report was never peer reviewed. Yes, this is contrary to the multiple reports which just so happened to look favorably on the seal hunt and were peer reviewed. Not only peer reviewed but accepted and published.

Not only is this report a shining example of the depths which the anti-sealing industry is willing to stoop but also the level of stupidity of European politicians. After all, this report has been the cornerstone of seal product ban decisions within almost a half-dozen EU countries and potentially the EU as a whole. Maybe we should send over a copy of Jack and the Bean Stalk to sway internal agricultural decisions. Is your head spinning at how absolutely insane all this is because mine is and has been ever since I researched it.

When one considers all this information it is hard to see the report as anything more than a well orchestrated propaganda document. Hats off to the protest sector, the document has served them well but one can only hope others are willing to take the short amount of time necessary to see it for what it is. It is hard to believe supposed intelligent and diligent politicians and media have frequently used this report when deciding foreign policy and writing articles which impact the lives of thousands of families. Like the report itself, these individuals have allowed themselves to become nothing more than another facet of the protestor's propaganda machine.
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