The killing of dozens of baby seals in Canada has been caught on camera by an animal protection organisation.

The Humane Society International (HSI) warned that dozens of baby seals are being killed in the ice floes of Newfoundland. The animals are being shot or impaled in the head.

"The ice is too thin to land the Hunt Watch helicopter, so heart-breaking photos and video were captured by HSI/Canada from the air," HSI said in a statement, warning that the Canadian government has authorised the killing of up to 468,000 harp, hooded and grey seals.

HSI's executive director Rebecca Aldworth, who witnessed the killings, said: "This slaughter is heart-breaking to witness. We saw one baby seal clearly raise her head from the massive pool of blood she lay in. Another was shot and thrashed on the ice only to slip into the blood-slicked water. Still more seal pups were impaled on hooks and dragged onto vessels and then clubbed on deck. It is reprehensible that these baby seals are being killed with government financing, even as the largest seal processor in Canada admits to warehousing a stockpile of seal fur.

In 2009, the European Union officially banned the trade in products that originate from commercial seal hunts. According to Aldworth, the ban is essential to guarantee that these slaughters will eventually end. "Ending the global trade in seal products is the best hope these pups have," she said.

The video of the slaughter comes as singer Paul McCartney urged people to make a donation to HSI to help it shed light on the killings and halt commercial slaughter of seals for their fur in Atlantic Canada.