IFAW Thrilled by Canada’s Green Party Stand on Commercial Seal Hunt

Friday, 2 December, 2005
St. John's, Newfoundland
The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) congratulated the Green Party of Canada for its commitment to end the federal subsidies that prop up Canada's commercial seal hunt.
Party leader Jim Harris yesterday stated in a release that, “This government-subsidized seal hunt is a chapter in our history that needs to come to a close.”
“This is the first time in memory that the leader of a national party has spoken out against Canada's commercial seal hunt. This is historic,” said Olivier Bonnet, IFAW's Canadian Director.

Subsidies are key to supporting this cruel and wasteful hunt. Government-funded Coast Guard vessels smash pathways through the ice for sealers to gain access to the seals. A bloated Federal bureaucracy defends the hunt at home and abroad while claiming to carefully regulate it. Millions more dollars go to support marketing gimmicks despite the fact that most Canadians are opposed to the hunt.
In a recent Environics survey on Canadian attitudes towards the hunt, 78 percent of respondents, stating an opinion, were opposed to government subsidies. Some 69 percent were opposed to the hunt itself.
Mr. Bonnet added, “Like the principled stand taken by a few politicians in the 1970s against Canada's commercial whale hunt, this announcement by Canada's Greens will be a turning point in efforts to end the commercial seal hunt.”

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