Posts Tagged seal hunt

Grey Seal Cull is Science Fraud

Background (Preamble):
As usual the Canadian government is using the seals as a political ruse to satisfy the sealers and they say the seal cull is based on science (contained in some private ‘committee report’) . This is nonsense and the government and the DFO knows it . The seal cull would cost 35 million and would be the worst thing for Canada . It would be a national embarrassment , a purely political exercise and an environmental disaster ; it would likely also be an economic disaster , damaging any potential tourism to the region , as no one wants to visit an open air slaughterhouse .


This slaughter needs to stop and the government needs to know that Canadians will not tolerate such action against the seals .

Please sign this petition and let the fisheries minister and the DFO know that there will be serious consequences for this seal cull if it were to go though . The time to end to this is now .


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Withdraw Reckless WTO Challenge

Canadian and European Parliamentarians Join HSI Canada in Calling for Withdrawal of Reckless WTO Challenge Against EU Seal Product Trade Ban

More Parliamentarians are supporting our efforts to end the seal hunt. HSI

More Parliamentarians are supporting our efforts to end the seal hunt. HSI

Humane Society International/Canada
November 2, 2011
OTTAWA — Humane Society International/Canada, joined by the Honourable Mac Harb, Senator; Elizabeth May, Member of Parliament; and the Honourable David Martin, Member of the European Parliament; called upon the Canadian government to withdraw its World Trade Organisation challenge against the EU ban on seal product trade. The Parliamentarians urged the Canadian government to support Atlantic Canadian sealers and their families by implementing a federal buyout of the commercial sealing industry.
“As long as the Canadian government continues with its groundless WTO challenge against the EU prohibition on seal product trade, many members of the European Parliament are loath to ratify a free-trade agreement with Canada,” said David Martin, Member of the European Parliament and member of the Committee on International Trade of the European Parliament. “Not only does Canada’s challenge at the WTO jeopardise a multibillion dollar trade deal with Europe, but it is a complete attack on European values and democratic processes.”
“Canadians are increasingly frustrated at the refusal of the Harper government to respect the right of the EU to domestically ban its trade in products of commercial seal hunts,” said Senator Harb. “Canada’s cruel commercial seal slaughter produces little economic benefit, and now threatens relations with Canada’s second largest trading partner.”
“It is time for the Canadian government to stop throwing away millions of taxpayer dollars at the commercial seal hunt,” said Elizabeth May, Member of Parliament and leader of the Green Party of Canada. “Instead of propping up this dying industry with massive government subsidies, the Canadian government, for much less money, could buy out sealing licenses and develop sustainable economic alternatives for communities, such as seal watching.”
“With this WTO challenge, the Canadian government is putting the sealing industry above all others who may benefit from CETA,” said Rebecca Aldworth, executive director of Humane Society International/Canada. “The Canadian government must stop playing regional politics with the lives of baby seals, and listen to the overwhelming majority of Canadians that support the right of the EU to ban seal product trade.”
Though polling shows 86 percent of Canadians supported the right of the EU to prohibit seal product trade, the Canadian government challenged the ban at the WTO in November 2009, and requested a dispute panel in February 2011 after consultations failed to resolve the matter.
In June 2011, the European Parliament adopted a Resolution threatening to block ratification of CETA if Canada fails to withdraw its WTO challenge. More than 100 MEPs have signed an open letter to the Canadian government saying the EU Parliament should not ratify CETA until Canada drops its challenge.
Canadian legal experts have estimated the cost of the WTO challenge to be about $10 million – more than thirteen times the landed value of the seal slaughter this year.


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Proposed Seal Cull In St. Lawrence Gulf Draws Fire From Top Scientists

Posted: 9/25/11

From Canadian Press

HALIFAX – Two of Canada’s leading marine biologists and a conservation group say a five-year proposal to slaughter 140,000 grey seals in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence is being driven by politics, not science.

“I don’t support it,” said Hal Whitehead, a professor at Dalhousie University in Halifax who specializes in the study of whales. “From what I’ve seen of the rationale, it doesn’t make much sense to me.”

Earlier this month, a federal advisory panel urged Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield to approve the cull, which would result in the killing of 70 per cent of the grey seals that feed in an area that stretches from Quebec’s Gaspe Peninsula to the east side of Cape Breton.

The Fisheries Resource Conservation Council, made up of scientists and fishing industry representatives appointed by the minister, said the proposed cull is an experiment that will test indirect scientific evidence suggesting grey seals are impeding the recovery of cod stocks.

Whitehead said the council’s description of the project as an experiment is laughable.

“There’s no control group,” he said in an interview, referring to the unaltered group in a scientific experiment that allows for comparison of results.

“In this case, there’s just one lot and you’re killing a large part of them. If the cod population goes up, it doesn’t necessarily mean the seals were to blame. … Disentangling relationships in the ocean is really tough.”

The professor also said that even though other predators eat cod, including some species of whales, the federal government seems intent on taking aim at seals to appease the fishing industry.

“In this part of the world … a substantial part of the population really dislikes seals,” Whitehead said.
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Seal cull recommended for southern Gulf of St. Lawrence
© Copyright (c) Postmedia News

A cull of thousands of grey seals in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence was among the recommendations made Thursday to federal Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield in an effort to bolster groundfish stocks in the region.

The Fisheries Resource Conservation Council released its report aimed at recovering and sustaining the groundfish population. Eliminating 70 per cent of grey seals in the southern Gulf was identified among the 31 suggestions as a way to restore healthier groundfish stocks.

The southern Gulf ranges from New Brunswick to Nova Scotia.

In the report, the FRCC said that to protect existing groundfish numbers in the region, a reduction of the grey seal population to about 31,000 animals would be necessary, with an “initial reduction” of about 73,000 seals “within a year or two.”

Rebecca Aldworth, executive director of Humane Society International/Canada, said it is “absolutely reprehensible” to suggest such a measure.

“A cull of 70 per cent of the population would not be sustainable and could lead to the extrication of this species off our east coast,” Aldworth said Thursday. “The fact the FRCC would call for such a reckless move . . . speaks to the political motives of the FRCC . . . and is, in my opinion, the fishing industry attempting to divert attention from the irresponsible fishing practices that continue today.”

She insists there is a lack of scientific evidence to suggest that the grey seal population has a negative effect on the health of groundfish stocks and that overfishing remains the largest threat against cod and other fish in the region.
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Humane Society International Calls for Immediate Action to End the Seal Hunt With the Release of Disturbing New Footage

June 14, 2011 10:00 ET

TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwire – June 14, 2011) -

This document corrects and replaces the press release that was sent today at 10:00 am ET.

Humane Society International/Canada, joined by leading international veterinary expert, Dr Andy Butterworth, MRCVS held a news conference to release new video evidence of the cruelty at the 2011 commercial seal slaughter, which reveals flagrant violations of Canadian law and accepted guidelines on international humane killing standards. HSI/Canada is calling on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to take immediate action to end Canada’s commercial seal slaughter.

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No Animal-rights Uproar in China Over Canada’s Seal Hunts

Submitted by SHNS on Tue, 01/12/2010 – 14:26By CAMPBELL CLARK, Toronto Globe and Mail international

Forget the Old World animal ethics of Europe. Canada is taking its seal hunt where the money is — to China.

Despite all the hubbub about the European Union’s sanctions on the seal hunt, Europe is a relatively small market for Canadian seal products. But China is a big buyer, with greater potential and none of the uproar about animal rights that has made the seal industry a pariah in the Western world.

That’s why Canada Fisheries Minister Gail Shea and executives from five Canadian seal-industry companies are in China now, teaming up to work the market that could ensure the survival of Canada’s moribund hunt. “There’s huge market potential here,” Shea said.

Shea is in China to introduce a seal-fur line at a fashion show at the China Fur and Leather Products Fair in Beijing. She’ll also try to ease red tape for seal meat imports.

“They have a completely different approach over here,” Bernard Guimont, president of Magdalen Islands seal products exporter Tamasu Inc., said from Beijing. “That’s why we think it’s a market that for sure has a great future for us.”

The animal-rights activism of groups that attack the seal hunt as inhumane, featuring such celebrities as Paul McCartney and images of red blood staining white snow, has won a ban in Europe. But despite efforts to reproduce the campaigns in Hong Kong, the movement has yet to take hold in Chinese culture, where a tradition of eating a wide variety of animals, including dogs, makes it relatively immune to emotional appeals to spare cute seals.

“The Chinese eat anything. And they simply don’t understand why you would put one animal above another,” said Wayne Mackinnon, chairman of DPA Industries, which exports Omega 3 seal-oil capsules made from harp seal blubber. “I suspect that over the course of the next decade, the Chinese market alone could take all the seal products that we could make.”

Sales of seal-oil products like DPA’s might surpass sales of seal fur that was long the hunt’s raison d’etre, but the collapsing economics of the fur industry threaten Mr. Mackinnon’s business too: Unless sealers are hunting seals for fur, he won’t get blubber at a reasonable price.

With pelts fetching only about $15, many sealers stayed home during last year’s hunt, taking only a quarter of the catch allowed by Ottawa.

The landed value of the pelts totaled less than $1-million.

Ottawa, however, spent large sums campaigning against last year’s EU decision to ban seal products.

But those efforts are more about culture wars than commercial deals. The federal government wanted to stop sanctions to protect the hunt’s international reputation, and because siding with hunters over celebrity animal-rights activists from Europe was an obvious political choice for Conservative party politicians.

But in commercial terms, Europe was small potatoes: Most Canadian sales there were to fur processors, who sold their goods to other countries, but only about 10 percent of the retail market was there. Most of Canada’s exports are split between Russia and China.

China, rapidly becoming the world’s manufacturing powerhouse, has been the center of fur manufacturing for a decade, and its newly affluent millions have made it a bigger retail market too, Guimont said.

The Beijing fur show is rapidly becoming one of the largest in the world; the biggest is in Hong Kong.

(Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service,

Canadian clients may not useMust credit Toronto Globe and Mail(All currency U.S.)

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Gail Shea Junket

China to import seal meat and oil from Canada
Updated: Wed Jan. 12 2011 08:32:09 News Staff

The Chinese government has agreed to allow edible seal products from
Canada to be imported into its country, under a new deal that was
announced Wednesday.

Canada’s federal fisheries minister, Gail Shea, who is in Beijing to
promote Canadian seal products this week, said she had worked with
Chinese officials for a year to reach a deal.

“One year ago, I came to China to begin this process. The Chinese
market holds great potential for the Canadian seal industry,” Shea
said in a statement released Wednesday.

“One year later, I am thrilled to demonstrate our Government’s
continued support of the thousands of Canadian families in coastal and
northern communities who will directly benefit from this new market
access arrangement with China.”
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Gail Shea Get Out of China

Chinese and International Animal Protection Groups Say “No” to Seal Slaughter Cruelty
Contacts: Humane Society International Canada
Dean Pogas; 514-395-2914; email:


Chinese and Canadian animal protection groups are calling on Canada’s Fisheries Minister Gail Shea and Canadian sealing-industry representatives to leave China. Minister Shea’s is in China attempting to promote inherently cruel seal fur and other products to Chinese consumers. This visit comes just weeks after a Beijing media conference in which Humane Society International joined Chinese animal protection groups and presented graphic footage of the Canadian commercial seal slaughter.

“The Canadian sealing industry is mistaken if it believes that China will willingly become a dumping ground for products of cruelty the rest of the world has rejected,” said Lu Di, director of China Small Animal Protection Association. “Chinese people care just as much about animals as the citizens of Europe and America. My organization and many others will work to ensure China never becomes a significant market for Canadian seal products.”

“I cannot believe that a civilized nation like Canada would consider promoting this cruel and outdated industry in China,” said Qin Xiaona, director of Beijing’s Capital Animal Welfare Association. “We are confident that Chinese people will join the world community in saying no to the products of this baby seal slaughter.”
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E.U. Ban on Seal Products Holds Up in Court, Canada Plans Its Next Move

by Renee Evans November 02, 2010 07:23 AM (PT)

Killing seals is big business in Canada, but a recent ban on seal products in Europe threatens to take a chunk out of their profits.

Naturally, Canada wasn’t too happy about the new ban, claiming it was “unfair.” Greenland, also in the seal-murdering business, agreed. Even though indigenous subsistence hunting was exempt from the ban, the Inuits weren’t too happy about it either. They said the ban would put a significant financial strain upon them and even increase the risk of youth suicide.

So, the Fur Institute of Canada and a number of allies, including Inuit groups, decided to go to court. When the ban took effect on August 20, 2010, the groups involved in the lawsuit were exempt while the legal proceedings were untangled.

The plaintiffs used the argument that the seal hunt is Inuit tradition and part of their heritage. But wait, aren’t the Inuits exempt? A bit confusing, yes? The judge didn’t see a clear argument either.

Judge Marc Jaeger formally rejected their claim, stating that “the plaintiffs presented no concrete indication that would justify their fears in this regard.”

His decision will save thousands of seals — primarily baby seals — from being clubbed, shot or beaten with a hakapik.

In court, plaintiffs further argued that banning the products “harvested” from commercial hunting would cause the market to shrink and therefore hurt them. The wise judge still refused to lift the ban.

The decision comes as victory for groups like the International Fund for Animal Welfare, which has been fighting the seal hunt for four decades. “This ban is about the right of Europeans to say ‘No’ to products that stem from cruel and unnecessary hunts,” said Lesley O’Donnell, IFAW’s E.U. Director.

Canada, along with Norway, will now take the issue to the World Trade Organization, continuing to claim that the ban is discriminatory, although it’s suspected that the Canadian government and fur industry are hiding behind the argument of Inuit tradition to protect the interests of commercial hunters. Groups like IFAW will follow them to continue fighting for the seals.

Paul Watson, founder and Captain of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, defends the decision of the E.U. court, stating that “the people of Europe have a right to legislate against the destruction of the seals and to oppose the horrific cruelty of this annual massacre of innocent and biologically valuable creatures.” I couldn’t agree more.

The target for sealers is primarily the harp seal. Not only do they have to fight to survive human hunters, but they also face habitat loss, pollution and overfishing. After a seal is slaughtered and skinned, its killer inspects the pelt. If it’s not satisfactory, it’s tossed aside like an old rag.

Commercial hunters murder about 325,000 juvenile seals per year. Inuit and indigenous groups kill roughly 10,000 adult seals per year. The time to stop the exploitation of the harp seal is long overdue.

With the new ban in place, Canadian sealers will lose a quarter of their profits. Canada intends to push the seal trade in Asian countries, where opposition is low.

Europe has joined with other countries to say “enough” to the brutality of the seal hunt. As more countries decide against the cruel hunts, profits will continue to be sliced. With no profit margin, the hunts will end.

Urge Canada to stop slaughtering seals. Sign the petition now.

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The EU has decided to put a ban in place , the market for seal pelts is closed down in Europe . The Canadian government has spent 10 million dollars on a fruitless fight against the ban in the Euro court, to no success. The Canadian government is not happy about this and has decided to waste tax payers money again, and is planning to take the case to the WTO , while also pursuing a seal product market in China . China has no protection against animals at all, so they’re not against the seal hunt .
The seal hunt is damaging international trade, is giving Canada a ‘black eye’, and is against the wishes of Canadians .
The government has expressed that they do not feel that ban is fair . What about Canadians , is it fair to Canadians that the government continues to waste money ? To continue to embarasse our nation and slash other important programs ?
For example the First Nations program for a data base to find missing women ; this has been cut while the Canadian government aggressively appeals the seal ban to the WTO .

It’s time that Stephen Harper either gets his priorities straight or please do Canadians a favor and get someone else to lead ..
We as Canadians demand that the Canadian government cease any and all attempts to appeal the EU ban on seal pelts, and stop wasting tax payers money to put the awful and embarrassing seal hunt on emergency support . Any such failure will result in the undersigned to vote against the government in the next election .

A petition by the Admin amy

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