Canadians speak out on the commercial seal hunt: Not with our money!

Monday, July 14, 2008
Ottawa, Canada
A new nation-wide poll released today, conducted by Environics Research on behalf of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), shows that not only do Canadians want the commercial seal hunt stopped, but they also want the government to stop spending tax dollars defending it overseas.
"The Canadian public is saying enough is enough." said Sheryl Fink, Senior Researcher for IFAW. "Canadians simply do not approve of the federal government continuing to waste their hard-earned tax dollars on the commercial seal hunt."

When asked their opinion about the commercial seal hunt, 79% of Canadians polled said the government should stop spending money and effort defending the commercial hunt and focus on more important issues instead.

"The recent actions by the federal government to defend and support the commercial seal hunt are completely at odds with what the Canadian public actually wants" noted Fink.

Last week, Fisheries Ambassador Loyola Sullivan acknowledged that the Canadian government has recently held between 170 and 180 meetings defending the seal hunt in Europe alone. Yet, three-quarters (75%) of Canadians said they were opposed to the use of tax dollars to send delegations to Europe to promote Canada’s commercial seal hunt.

"The government of Canada is clearly misrepresenting the level of Canadian public support for the commercial seal hunt to the European Union," said Fink.

With a trade ban announcement on seal products expected from the European Commission this month, the poll found that an overwhelming majority (86%) of Canadians believe the EU should be allowed to restrict trade in seal products, if it so chooses. In addition, those polled also said they opposed the Canadian government’s recent move to challenge trade bans in Belgium and the Netherlands at the World Trade Organization.

"Instead of wasting tax dollars on a dying industry, Canadians want the federal government to invest in sustainable, long-term opportunities that befit all Canadians."

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Experts

Dr. Ralf (Perry) Sonntag, Country Director, Germany
Country Director, Germany
Robbie Marsland, Regional Director, United Kingdom
Regional Director, United Kingdom
Sheryl Fink, Wildlife Campaigns Director, IFAW Canada
Wildlife Campaigns Director, IFAW Canada
Sonja Van Tichelen, Regional Director, European Union
Regional Director, European Union