Since the 1960s, The Humane Society of the United States has vigorously protested this brutal clubbing of the North Pacific fur seals. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, HSUS investigator Frank McMahon repeatedly documented this slaughter and worked with government officials and others to stop it. In 1980, HSUS chief investigator Frantz Dantzler returned to continue the work. Unhappily, these constant efforts, though successful in calling this brutal activity to the attention of the American public, failed to achieve our goal of bringing the Pribilof "harvest" to an end.
Now, we have undertaken a different strategy: on Thursday, January 5, 1984, we petitioned the U.S. government to protect these seals under the "threatened" category of the Endangered Species Act. This action should force government officials to end the drastic decline of the North Pacific fur seal and restore the population. Then, we trust, the seals will be protected from what has become their annual summer slaughter. This hunt is allegedly "carefully monitored," "skillfully conducted," and "managed" so that the overall population is not diminished from year to year. However, the "managed" population has shrunk from nearly 3 million in the 1950s to 1.4 million today. The seals simply aren't reproducing rapidly enough to replenish their numbers.
"The HSUS Petitions U.S. Government to Protect Fur Seals" (1984). CUP. 15.