China to Canada: We Won’t Be a Dumping Ground for Slaughtered Seals

More than 50 Chinese environmental and animal advocacy organizations have sent an open letter to the Canadian senate asking that Canada stop exporting seal products to China, reports the Humane Society International.

“We are writing to the Senate because we are disappointed in the Canadian government,” said Madame Qin Xiaona, director of Beijing’s Capital Animal Welfare Association. “We want Canadian Senators to realize that Ottawa’s promotion of seal products in China is unwise and short-sighted. It has caused irreparable damage to Canada’s reputation in China. Our campaign against seal product trade will continue until the Canadian government ceases its efforts to promote these products of cruelty in China.”

The letter calls Canada’s commercial slaughter cruel, outdated and unnecessary and follows a growing number of bans on seal products around the world and comes weeks before the senate will debate a bill that would bring the commercial seal hunt to an end.

Please be assured that China will never become a dumping ground for products of cruelty that the rest of the world has so overtly rejected. Like their Canadian, American, European and Russian counterparts, Chinese consumers care about animal welfare and food safety, and we strongly oppose trade in products from commercial seal slaughters.

Statements by Canadian sealing industry representatives that seal meat should be in demand in China because “Chinese people eat anything” are offensive to say the least and highly misleading. In China, seals are a protected species, and seal meat is not a part of our tradition. Despite the massive subsidies invested by unwilling Canadian taxpayers for more than three decades to promote seal fur and meat in China, significant markets have never emerged. Knowing full well the public opposition to commercial sealing, the animal welfare problems associated with seal slaughters and the food safety issues surrounding seal meat, the Chinese authorities have, in fact, made no commitment to importing this product. Chinese consumers are increasingly concerned with food safety, and both the Chinese government and public are aware of the reported high levels of PCBs in seals.

The bill that could end the hunt, S-210, was introduced by Senator Mac Harb and moved forward this summer after receiving support from Senator Larry Campbell. The bill cites a lack of viable markets, opposition from a majority of Canadians, a dropping number of sealers who participated last year and scientific evidence that seals are not responsible for poor recovery of fish stocks as legitimate reasons for ending the hunt.

The legislation would provide compensation for fishermen and transition them out of this dying industry, but is still receiving opposition from legislators who want to see the slaughter continue, with at least one calling a debate over the issue a waste of taxpayer money …even though the real waste of money comes from Canada’s continued efforts to find markets for seal products and its decision to spend an estimated $10 million, far more than what the sealing industry is worth, by pursuing a legal challenge at the World Trade Organisation over the EU’s ban on seal products.

“Despite the millions of taxpayers’ dollars spent by the Canadian government to promote seal products in Southeast Asia, China has failed to emerge as a significant market for seal products,” said Rebecca Aldworth, executive director of Humane Society International/Canada.  “Chinese animal protection and environmental groups are more determined than ever to make sure their country does not become a dumping ground for these products.”

Hopefully, strong opposition from one of the last markets for seal products will bring this industry to an end once and for all.


Related Stories:

Care2 Success: Seal Pups Saved From Certain Death

Brutal Seal Hunt Continues in Canada

Shocking Facts About Canada’s Annual Seal Hunt

Photo credit: Thinkstock

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Past Member 7 months ago

Good for them! Now, if the Chinese govt. itself would join in....

David Thieke
David Thieke7 months ago

Good article. I'm glad China did this ! Thanks for sharing this info !

Teresa W.
Teresa W.7 months ago

Save the seals!

Yvonne AWAY8 months ago

No one in their right state of mind could do this barbaric practise of clubbing baby seals to death.I hope now other countries will follow China to stop this evil Save the Seals No more Killing them!!!!!

Maggie Welch
Maggie W.8 months ago

Thank you Humane Society International/Canada for help the Chinese in their efforts to stop the slaughter of seals, especially baby seals. How could anyone club to death such a helpless animal?

Shelly Peddicord
Shelly Peddicord8 months ago

Save the seals

Carla van der Meer
Carla van der Meer8 months ago

Great for CChina. I am Canadian and the seal hunt is a huge source of shame. Now if only the Chinese could do something about Yulin and other dog eating...

Teresa W.
Teresa W.11 months ago

good for China

Dave Croyd
Dave Croyd1 years ago

Canada's reputation is sh*t!

Jon Erickson
John Erickson1 years ago

"pursuing a legal challenge at the World Trade Organisation over the EU’s ban on seal products."

You can't force the EU to accept or buy seal products. That is another true waste of money. Please leave the seals alone all ready. They have just as much right to their lives as we do.