This year the Canadian government has up leveled the quota for seal hunt to 468.200 seals, twenty percent more than last year. Using the clubbing method for killing seals is forbidden in the whole world, except in Canada.
A deal with China should stimulate the demand for seal products. The government is hoping to make the controversial seal hunt profitable again. During the last years the market for seal fur has collapsed because of the European Seal Ban. One quarter of the 6000 Canadian seal hunters’ income came from the export to Europe.
On February 11th of this year Federal Fisheries Minister, Gail Shea, announced that Canada is launching a formal challenge at the World Trade Organization of the European Union’s ban on the trade of seal products.
‘The government of Canada is wasting the hard earned money of Canadians to fight a battle that the citizens of the European Union have said is already lost,’ says Sheryl Fink, Director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s Seal Program, ‘the EU does not want products from commercial seal hunts, period. How much more action does the world have to take against Canada before the government will listen? Hundreds of restaurants in the United States are boycotting Canadian seafood because of its commercial seal hunt and Canada’s tourism industry is at risk.’
Most sealers stayed home last year, because they could not find any buyers. The seal hunters are also hampered by the decrease in ice floes, which can serve as hunt base. The decrease is is caused by higher temperatures, due to the climate change. Increasing the quota is irresponsible, animal protectors claim. They say less and less seals are born because of the climate change.
No, I’m not a vegetarian (anymore). Yes, I have non-leather shoes. Yes, I also wear leather boots, because no other product gives me the same comfort. But killing animals SOLELY FOR THEIR SKIN in such a brutal and inhumane – sorry, human – way, kindles my feeling of injustice. Inuits kill seals and even whales – or at least they used to – but the Inuit people use the whole animal, it is their way of surviving in bleak and cold surroundings. Not a way to make profit by killing many animals for the sake of their fur.
What is your opinion on the seal hunt and Canada’s statement? Am I missing ‘the other side’ in my comment?