Nova Scotia grey seals to be slaughtered during Canada Winter Games

Thursday, 17 February, 2011
Toronto, Canada
The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW is outraged at an announcement by Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans authorizing the brutal slaughter of 60,000 wild grey seals, to begin in Nova Scotia today. The announcement comes during the Canada Winter Games and just three days after Nova Scotia proudly celebrated I Love Nova Scotia Day (February 14) which was heralded by Premier Darrell Dexter as celebration of all that is wonderful about Nova Scotia.

“IFAW is stunned at the shortsightedness and arrogance of the Canadian government for allowing the slaughter of 60,000 grey seals to proceed, beginning today in Nova Scotia,” said Sheryl Fink, Director of IFAW’s Seal Program, “Allowing the brutal clubbing of roughly 80% of the pups born this year is completely irresponsible and has no basis in conservation. The few dollars that will be earned by the handful of sealers taking part in this slaughter is a pittance compared to the economic benefit offered by grey seals to this province as a tourism draw.”

“IFAW participated in I Love Nova Scotia Day to raise awareness about the grey seal hunt. Literally hundreds of people expressed their love and affection for Nova Scotia’s seals to us. I am completely shocked that, just days later and during the Canada Winter Games, the government could be so callous as to authorize this brutal slaughter, destroying one of the very things that people love about Nova Scotia,” Fink added.

IFAW maintains that the commercial exploitation of Nova Scotia’s wildlife and a federally-funded seal cull is not only an embarrassment for Canada, but also off-putting for tourists planning to visit Nova Scotia and has wider impacts for the Canadian economy.

“How much more action does the world have to take against Canada before the government will listen? A trade agreement with the European Union has been discussed as being at risk because of Canada’s commercial seal hunt, hundreds of restaurants in the United States are boycotting Canadian seafood because of it and now Canada’s tourism industry is at risk,” said Fink, “Still, the Canadian government continues to choose arrogance and political grandstanding over sound conservation, logic, and compassion.”

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Michelle Cliffe (IFAW Canada)
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Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Director, France and Francophone Africa
Director, France and Francophone Africa
Rikkert Reijnen, Program Director, Wildlife Crime
Program Director, Wildlife Crime
Sheryl Fink, Campaign Director, Canadian Wildlife
Campaign Director, Canadian Wildlife
Sonja Van Tichelen, Vice President of International Operations
Vice President of International Operations