This week information that Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, have banned the import of harp seal products has come out and is being applauded by organizations including the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and the Humane Society International (HSI), who have been fighting for the end of Canada’s brutal seal slaughter for years.
According to the Canadian government, Russia was one of the only major markets left for seal products, importing up to 90% of seal pelts.
“The writing is on the wall” said Sheryl Fink, Director of IFAW’s Seal Program. “The Canadian government knows seal products are not wanted, and has had ample time to transition sealers out of this industry with compensation. Instead they have done nothing but dispute the rights of other nations by challenging seal product bans at the WTO. As Russia follows in the steps of the EU and closes its doors to seal products, it’s time to say enough is enough and stop the seal slaughter once and for all.”
Numerous countries including the U.S. have banned seal products. The European Union enacted a trade ban in 2009, and a trade agreement to import seal meat to China has gone nowhere …a deal that many Chinese animal lovers and more than 60 animal protection organizations in the country continue to protest.
“Global markets for seal products are closing fast and Canada increasingly stands alone in its promotion of the seal hunt. The world is clearly moving beyond commercial sealing and it is time Canada did the same,” said Rebecca Aldworth, executive director of Humane Society International/Canada.
The HSI is pushing for the Canadian government to buy out the remaining sealers and help them transition into other jobs, which is something more than half of sealers would reportedly support, and is a move that is estimated to cost less than what is currently spent subsidizing this dying industry, which includes paying for for ice breakers, Coast Guard services and DFO salaries, in addition to spending millions on marketing efforts.
Please sign the petition asking Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper to end this senseless slaughter for good.
Photo credit: ThinkStock
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