European Union to Canada: No Means No
Today Canada’s Fisheries Minister, Gail Shea, announced that Canada is launching a formal challenge of the EU ban on the trade of seal products at the World Trade Organization. Achieving the ban was a long and hard won battle for IFAW, our supporters and other groups around the world. You can be sure that this will galvanize us together once again to fight and ensure the ban is defended and upheld.
The European Commission has said that it will 'vigorously defend' the values of EU citizens in the face of a WTO challenge, as they should. In the meantime, the Canadian government continues to ignore public opinion polls that show the majority of Canadians disapprove of Canada challenging the EU seal product ban at the WTO, and that Canadians would rather see their taxes used to phase out the hunt and support alternatives for sealers and their communities.
Some experts have estimated that a WTO challenge will cost at least 10 million dollars – about TEN TIMES what the seal hunt actually brings in to sealers in recent years. Hard-earned tax dollars wasted on a WTO challenge could be much better spent providing sealers with sustainable livelihoods in industries that don’t stain Canada’s reputation on the world stage.
Just yesterday, a story in the Postmedia News indicated that an EU trade agreement could be at stake because of Canada’s commercial seal hunt and the dirty tar sands. If this is the case, Canadians have a lot to lose. Drawing attention to this annual slaughter in the WTO will only remind the world how inhumane and unnecessary Canada’s commercial seal hunt truly is.
For more information on the International Fund for Animal Welfare effort to end the Canadian commercial seal hunt visit: http://www.ifaw.org/seals