IFAW's Sheryl Fink rebuts Canadian Fisheries Minister Gail Shea's attack on NGOs
The original article appeared on PEICanada.com...
How disappointing it is to see more whining and complaining about NGOs from Fisheries Minister Gail Shea. If she’s not careful, her term will be up before she even begins to address the real issues behind Canada’s commercial seal hunt.
I invite Minister Shea to view the seal hunt footage taken in 2007/2008/2009 by sealing observers, myself included. This is the same footage shown to European parliamentarians. This footage is not outdated - as the minister alleges - nor does it contain images of whitecoat seals.
Europeans know perfectly well the seals killed in the current hunt are not whitecoats. They also know it is irrelevant. When we talk about the difference between a two-week-old whitecoat, and the same pup once it starts to moult a few days later, colour doesn’t matter does it?
This footage shows current and graphic examples of inhumane killing during Canada’s commercial seal hunt. Seal pups are shown hooked in the face and dragged across the ice, while clearly conscious and struggling. It shows seals shot, wounded and left to suffer for prolonged periods.
I challenge Minister Shea to face all Canadians and tell them that what she sees on those videos is “humane,” that it is “professional,” and she is still proud to “stand up” for the sealing industry.
I invite her to explain to all Canadians why her government continues to waste millions of taxpayers’ dollars annually - the WTO challenge alone will cost an estimated $10 million - to support an industry that brought in little more than a million dollars last year, provides only a few days work, and tarnishes other industries such as tourism and fisheries. Taxpayer dollars wasted on trying to keep the sealing industry alive would be better spent on finding economically viable alternatives to sealing.
Meanwhile, Minister Shea’s continued enthusiasm for criticizing animal welfare NGOs simply demonstrates that she has no good arguments to defend Canada’s commercial seal hunt.
Perhaps that’s because there aren’t any?
Senior Research and Projects Specialist
International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)
Here is the text of the original article:
Shea slams anti-sealing organizations
organizations, accusing them of using deceptive advertising to sway public
of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers, held in Mill River. Minister Shea and
PEI’s Fisheries Minister Neil LeClair co-chaired the meeting.
hunt) as a fund raiser for their organizations. I have an understanding these
people get paid quite a hefty salary to wage these campaigns,” said Minister
Shea, who stressed many NGOs “do good work.”
to account to at least tell the truth.”
continue to play a big role in anti-sealing campaigns.
still using the whitecoat seal pups as a way to get to the hearts of Europeans”
and to mislead them, said Minister Shea.
make it more humane, she said.
Minister Shea. She added new regulations were evaluated by an independent panel
seal products commanded a great deal of discussion among ministers at Thursday’s
parliamentarians to ban the import of seal products and she conceded that
campaign was well-funded.
spend as much as the non-governmental organizations did on their campaign over
the last number of years.
products from Europe because it was the wish of their constituents, not because
it was the right thing to do,” she said, adding, “We have said repeatedly we
will stand up for Canadian sealers, Canadian seal families and the Canadian seal
complaints to international trading bodies.
believe it (ban) violates trade rules. We will continue to support diversifying
potential medical benefits of seals.
“which would be quite a medical marvel,” she said.
seal industry” that her government would continue to support.
deal effectively with “nuisance seals that reside on the east coast year
fisheries. They are smashing up lobster traps, they are eating fish that are
caught on hooks,” she said, adding seals are taking a toll on dwindling cod
stocks, “which don’t seem to be rebuilding.”
reduce the population of nuisance seals.