"Humane" claims by Canadian delegation in Europe refuted by new video evidence from seal hunt

Friday, 4 April, 2008
Ottawa, Canada
As Canadian government officials continue a European tour in attempt to forestall an EU ban on seal products, IFAW (the International Fund for Animal Welfare –  www.ifaw.org) released new video evidence refuting the government’s claims that the humaneness of Canada’s commercial seal hunt has improved.
Unacceptable cruelty, including the hooking and hoisting of a live seal into a boat has been documented at the hunt this week, at the very same time Canadian officials overseas are heralding this year to be the most humane seal hunt ever.
“The cruelty we witnessed earlier this week should not be tolerated anywhere in the world,” said Sheryl Fink, IFAW senior researcher and veteran seal hunt observer. “Once they see the evidence for themselves, it will be hard to convince Europeans that this hunt is anything other than inherently inhumane.”
Video evidence from the 2008 seal hunt clearly shows that the Canadian government’s new condition of license is not being followed by sealers.
“The Canadian Government can spin all the stories it wants in Europe, but our observations reveal the truth – no new condition of license will increase the humaneness of this hunt,” said Robbie Marsland, IFAW’s UK director. “The rule is a sham and the cruelty is continuing.” 
“The highly-touted condition of license was obviously meant to convince Europeans that things have improved here in Canada.  Our videos show that the new condition is not being followed, and that the rule is not being enforced. The Canadian delegation in Europe must be having a hard time explaining this one,” added Fink.
Fink also said she was “disgusted” by the Canadian government’s insistence on confusing Canada’s commercial seal hunt with hunting by aboriginal peoples in Canada’s North.
“Inuit seal hunting and Canada’s commercial seal hunt are two completely different hunts, for different seals, in different places, at different times of the year.” said Fink. “This is a shameless attempt to play on the concerns of Europeans for aboriginal peoples, and to pass off the southern commercial hunt for fur coats as an Inuit hunt.”
Footage of the opening days of Canada’s commercial seal hunt is available at www.thenewsmarket.com/ifaw.

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