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  Anger as Canada seal hunt begins
Updated 13 April 2004, 16.21
Thousands of seals are going to be killed
Animal rights groups have been protesting as a giant cull of 300,000 seals started in Canada on Tuesday.

The government says there are so many seals that they're eating all the fish, leaving none left for people.

They can also make lots of money from selling the skins of the animals - called pelts - to make clothes with.

The cull of the seals has always been controversial as many have been clubbed to death, but new guidelines mean more will be killed using guns.

Fact File
Canada's seal cull
Up to 350,000 baby harp seals to be killed this season
First culls started at the beginning of April
2,500 men and 150 trawlers to gather for intensive 36-hour phase of cull on 12 April
Up to 10,000 seals to be killed per daylight hour
Killing of "whitecoat" seals - aged up to 12 days - banned
By the end of Tuesday 140,000 of the harp seals will have been killed, even though the sealers aren't allowed to kill the youngest animals, called "whitecoats".

Canada used to kill lots of seals but pressure from other countries forced them to cut back.

Now they're upping the number allowed to be killed again, to a million over three years.

Another problem is that some of the animal rights and environmental groups say they're not being allowed to check up on how the seals are being killed.

"This hunt is bigger than it's ever been," said Rebecca Aldworth, from the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

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UKWhat to do if the news upsets you
AnimalsWhy are seals culled in Canada?
Find OutWhat is the fur industry?
ChatSeal clubbing: your views
QuizTake the seal quiz

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Past StoriesBORDER=0
Seal pups in Canada being culled
Orphaned seals go back into wild

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