Selling Seals To China: A Slap in the Face

China enters into a trade agreement with Canada to purchase seal products.

The Canadian sealing industry is on the hunt again -- this time they are back in on a desperate hunt to find consumers for the seal products that the EU - and many other countries - have flatly rejected.

Fisheries Minister Gail Shea today announced that China has agreed to buy Canadian seal meat and oil. The Minister also attended the 37th China Fur and Leather Products Fair this week to promote the Canadian sealing industry. This is Shea's second trip to China in a bid to shill seal products. The Canadian Seal Marketing Group, a consortium of sealing processors, is also visiting thanks to $325,000 in funding from the Government of Canada and Canadian taxpayers.

Canada’s attempt to dump unwanted seal products on China is led by the misguided and incredibly insulting assumption that Chinese consumers will condone the cruel slaughter of seal pups.

In a stunning display of cultural ignorance, a seal industry executive was quoted in the Globe and Mail (a national newspaper in Canada) last year as saying, “The Chinese eat anything. And they simply don’t understand why you would put one animal over another.”

The Chinese public is not likely to take Canada's insult lightly.  In talking with our Asia Regional Director, Grace Gabriel, she angrily offered that the agreement is  “ a slap on the face for China, Chinese culture and Chinese people.” Adding “China is not a dumping ground for Canadian seal products and Chinese consumers should not shoulder the ethical responsibility of paying for the cruel slaughter of seals in Canada.”

Thankfully, due to a lack of markets the Canadian sealing industry is in decline. Only 69.000 seal pups were killed off the east coast of Canada last year, far fewer than the allowable catch of 330,000 animals. Our intention is to see to it that IFAW informs the Chinese on the reality of the Canadian seal hunt, and that we – very clearly – make sure they understand the vast difference between the commercial hunt and the Inuit hunt in Canada. We will be urging Chinese consumers to say "No" to seal products, and to help protect Canada’s beautiful wild seals, rather than brutally killing them in the name of fashion and commerce.

To learn more about Canada's commercial seal hunt, and how you can help stop it, visit www.ifaw.org/seals

Comments: 11

 
Anonymous
3 years ago

The seal hunt begins whenever the ice begins to break up-its all up to mother nature. For more information on sealing-albeit often from the other side, there is an excellent fisheries podcast from newfoundland. They don't always talk about sealing, in fact its fairly rare. But it is quite interesting. For example, sealers themselves commented that its the FUR market they are after, not the meat market. China has been importing seals for quite some time (not many, and usually not for meat). All this work for 10 million in sales, while the feds wipe out the newfoundland fisheries. Also, its worth mentioning that the province of Newfoundland conducted NO inspections of flipper processors, and few inspections of most of their fisheries.

 
Anonymous
3 years ago

I have heard that sealers (Quebec and N.S.) have asked for a total catch of 400,000 harpseals and 200,000 grey seals this year.
Does anyone have information on this? Also anybody knows when the slaughter will start this year?

Thank you

 
Anonymous
3 years ago

Amazingly Amazing!

 
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3 years ago

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