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Learning English - Words in the News
27 March, 2006 - Published 14:04 GMT
Protest at Canadian seal hunt
Canadian harp seal
The hunted harp seal

The first few days of Canada's seal hunt have been difficult, with angry incidents in the Gulf of St Lawrence. There have been international appeals for an end to the cull. Hunters say the number of seals taken so far has been less than in previous years because of thin ice. This report from Lee Carter:

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Relations between Canadian seal hunters and the animal rights groups that monitor their activities have never been cordial, but protestors with the Humane Society of the United States say they were shocked when a sealing boat rammed into their small inflatable dinghy. The craft's propeller was damaged but no-one was seriously hurt. But the incident comes just a day after infuriated hunters flung seal guts at the protestors who were crammed into the same boat.

A Humane Society spokesperson said in a statement that the sealers need to remember that the groups are legally allowed to be near the hunters as long as they don't directly interfere with the seal cull. But the sealers are also frustrated because of a huge fall in the number of seals they are taking in comparison to previous years. Warm weather has melted the ice floes, making their task much more difficult. And some hunters have tied up their boats, saying that many of the seals are too young to be legally killed.

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the way groups of people feel and behave towards each other

watch and check a situation carefully for a period of time in order to discover something about it

friendly and polite

rammed into their small inflatable dinghy
deliberately drove into their small, open boat. An inflatable boat must be filled with air in order to float on the water.

The craft's propeller
the boat's propeller. A propeller is a device which causes a boat to move, consisting of two or more blades which turn round at high speed.

flung seal guts
threw the insides of seals

crammed into the same boat
crowded into the same boat

according to the law

don't directly interfere with the seal cull
don't interrput the killing of seals

have tied up their boats
have left their boats tied up, and not gone hunting

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