Thursday, April 13, 2006

Are culls really necessary?

There's an article from the BBC about how Canadian fishermen are in the process of performing a cull of baby harp seals. Just a few - only 325,000. (Yes, that's 325 THOUSAND!) They claim it's necessary to control the seal population. I found the use of the word cull interesting. I was only familiar with the more innocuous definition: to select from a large quantity; obtain from a variety of sources, but the second usage found in my dictionary is quite accurate: reduce the population of (a wild animal) by selective slaughter.

Sometimes the news makes me quite angry. One could argue the human population is growing out of control in certain places in the world, but you don't see any rational person proposing a selective slaughter of the humans to keep things in check. Why is it considered ok with other animals? And in this case, an organization even offered to provide $16 million to the Canadian government as an incentive to stop the slaughter. $16 million is what the gov't estimates is the money earned from the killing. So, what was the gov't's response to the offer? "No thanks." Apparently they prefer to earn their money through death.