As IFAW’s Director of Wildlife Campaigns in Canada, Sheryl’s primary focus is ending the commercial seal hunt in Canada. Sheryl also works on other animal welfare issues affecting wildlife within the country. She has been active in campaigns to educate the public on the threats facing Canada’s polar bears, the live capture of marine mammals for captivity, the exotic pet trade and commercial exploitation of animals and ecological sustainability.
Sheryl has observed the commercial seal hunt in Canada for 11 years, documenting the hunt from the air and on the ice, to provide ongoing evidence of its cruelty and wastefulness. Her campaign work to end the hunt has included, appearing on national television, leading public demonstrations, and providing testimony before politicians in Canada, the European Union and Namibia.
Sheryl is frequent lecturer on seal hunting at conferences, drawing upon her experience with IFAW and her background as a biologist having worked in the field with harp, hooded and grey seals. She is also a regular invited speaker at public events to raise awareness of the cruelty inherent in the commercial seal hunt.
She has authored many of IFAW’s submissions to the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans, commenting on proposed changes to the Marine Mammal Regulations which negatively affect the seals and demanding improvements in the management of Canada’s commercial seal hunt. Sheryl also authored documents submitted by IFAW to inform the European Commission in their assessment of the potential impact on the EU of a ban on products derived from seals and contributed to the amicus brief submitted by several NGOs in support of the EU ban before the World Trade Organization..
While the Seal Programme is Sheryl’s main focus, she has also been active in campaigns to educate the public on ecological sustainability and the issues surrounding the exotic pet trade and commercial exploitation of animals.
Researcher, International Marine Mammal Association (an IFAW affiliate organization)
Bachelor of Science (BSc, Hons), Wildlife Biology, University of Guelph, Canada
• Seals and Sealing in Canada (Annual Publication)
• Canada’s Commercial Seal Slaughter. 2009
• Gaining Ground: In Pursuit of Ecological Sustainability.2006. IFAW/University of Limerick. (Associate Editor)
• Fink, S. and B. Beresford. 2002. Amphibians and Reptiles as Exotic Pets. IFAW. 13pp
• Author or co-author of most of the seal publications presently on the IFAW website:
Canadian government sacrifices cats and dogs for seal hunt (online article)
Seal Hunt has Repercussions for Canadians and the Economy (online article)
Huffington Post: Animal welfare issues weigh heavily on voters’ minds during Canada’s 2015 election – Read more.
Toronto Sun: “Biologist has brains, beauty, and brawn” – Read more.
Law 360: European Union’s Court of Justice upholds ban on import and sale of seal products, despite appeal from Canada’s aboriginal community — Read more.