IFAW’s Sheryl Fink Op-Ed “Time to End the Seal Hunt”
Greg Weston is absolutely correct in his assessment of the economics and politics surrounding Canada's commercial seal hunt ("Seal the deal and this annual hunt," May 7).
As an animal welfare organization, we believe that when death is inevitable, it should be conducted as quickly and humanely as possible. This applies to the death of the sealing industry as well. The only thing keeping the sealing slaughter alive in Canada is the continuous infusion of government funds, and spending millions of dollars on a WTO challenge will simply prolong the inevitable.
Markets for seal fur are not likely to appear any time soon. When was the last time you saw anyone (other than Danny Williams) in a seal coat?
For far too long now, federal policy on the seal hunt issue has been held hostage by regional politics and special interest groups like the fur industry. But it is Canada, and Canadians, who pay the price -- with our taxes, and with our reputation on the world stage.
If our politicians really cared about sealers and their families, they would put their money (sorry -- make that our money) where their mouth is and start transitioning people out of this industry, sooner rather than later. As the Vancouver Olympics approach, all eyes will be on Canada. The EU ban on seal products provides Canadian politicians a chance to make a graceful exit out of this mess and end the commercial seal hunt once and for all. They would be fools to pass it up.
-- Sheryl Fink Senior Researcher
International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) Guelph