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Canadian Government: Annual Seal Hunt Misinformation Campaign Starts Again

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OTTAWA, Canada -- It's that time of year again when certain groups begin distributing misinformation about Canada's harp seal hunt, which tarnishes the reputation of Aboriginal and Atlantic sealers. As Canada's Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, I want to make sure the facts are clear.

Canada's commercial seal hunts are humane, sustainable and economically important, based on sound conservation principles and regulations that are carefully monitored and enforced. Our quota levels ensure the continued health and abundance of seal herds, and with more than 5.5 million harp seals just off Canada's shores it's wrong for anyone to suggest that their population is at risk. This number is triple what it was in the 1970s.

Yet each year professional activists who earn their living protesting the seal hunt descend upon Atlantic Canada, enjoy its hospitality, then attack the integrity, cultural heritage and livelihoods of these same coastal citizens and their communities.

These groups arm themselves with carefully crafted misinformation, including photo opportunities with celebrities and young "whitecoat" seals -- seals that it has been against the law to hunt in Canada for more than two decades.

Their claims of how the hunt is run fly in the face of independent, peer-reviewed veterinary reports that show seals are harvested in a humane manner. Even a December 2007 study by the European Food Safety Authority on the hunting practices of global seal hunts affirmed that humane hunting practices exist, and upheld the legitimacy and humaneness of Canada's techniques.

Seals have been harvested for food, fuel, clothing, shelter and other products for hundreds of years and sealing remains an important part of Canada's cultural heritage.

The Government of Canada will continue to speak up in support of the hunt and in defence of our sealers who carry out a legal, humane, and sustainable hunt that has been part of our culture for centuries.

To our neighbours in the international community, I would encourage you to get the facts on the seal hunt before you accept the arguments being put before you from any organization seeking your hard-earned dollars to fund their campaigns.

Views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of, its staff or its advertisers.

Reader Comments

11 people have commented so far. cloud add your comment

The headline for this story sums it up nicely, but only after the colon is removed.
   comment# 1   - Debbie MacKenzie · Canada · Feb 7, 2008 @ 7:24am

hey, have you checked out the pics of all the baby seals you are killling? do you have a pet? well imagine if it was brutally clubbed to death and then skinned. then you might see the protesters side.
   comment# 2   - Karina · none of your business · Feb 13, 2008 @ 2:55pm

Humane? Give me a break! Keep trying to cover it up the fact that you slaughter these helpless seals for MONEY, Mr. Minister. Canada is a modern day country why don't you start acting like one? The activists are out there to tell the truth about what you hide, you are only paid to put the kibosh on that. This will be over someday and so will your job!
   comment# 3   - Jane · Los Angeles, USA · Feb 15, 2008 @ 12:58pm

Hey bub... humane? LET ME CLUB YOUR rear orifice THEN HOOK YOU you SOB and let's see how HUMANE you think it is then. My country has its problems, but I am PROUD TO SAY That this would never happen here. I WILL NEVER step foot in your KIND AND HOSPITABLE country so long as this BARBARIC PRACTICE IS LEGAL. IT SICKENS ME
   comment# 4   - Carrie Hibbard · Redding, The ANIMAL KIND USA! · Feb 18, 2008 @ 8:42pm

Debbie MacKenzie: great comment, and OH so true. Doesn't matter if the seal still has his/her white fur or not. Beating a seal, or any animal for that matter, to death is *not* humane. It never will be, no matter *how* much Mr. Prime Minister is paid to say it is. Some traditions are better laid to rest. Side note: Sorry Carrie H- it -does- happen here. Just replace the seals with cows and chickens. :(
   comment# 5   - -k- · Detroit, US · Feb 19, 2008 @ 8:56am

This is preposterous. Any fool silly enough to stand there with a straight face telling us clubbing something to death is humane should be evaluated for a brain injury. That goes for Loyola Hearn AND Stephen Harper! If anyone would like to write the Prime Minister please visit this website to send a polite letter URGING him to stop the hunt. Thank you!
   comment# 6   - K. Reynolds · Metro Detroit, US · Feb 21, 2008 @ 9:00am

The seal hunt is an international embarrasment for Canada. The EU has even debated banning all seal products in order to make a clear message about shutting the hunt down. The majority of Canadians do not support the commercial seal hunt and there are polls to prove this. In sum, the government propaganda machine is back on and "certain groups" are trying to counter it.
   comment# 7   - Gemma · Canada · Feb 21, 2008 @ 8:33pm

This is not a hunt. This is a slaughter. These animals are killed for vanity. Please join the boycot on Canadian seafood.
   comment# 8   - Nicole Wernke · Dubuque, Iowa USA · Feb 23, 2008 @ 9:15pm

Government support for this senseless slaughter must be brought to an end. Until then, whenever possible, boycott Canadian goods.
   comment# 9   - Robert McClelland · Canada · Mar 1, 2008 @ 9:32am

I cannot understand how anyone can defend what is happening in Canada with the hunt, i have not long seen pics on Sky news and it sickens me, i will never visit Canada while this is going on and hopefully others abroad will do the same. Also i can only pray that Europe bans the export of all products to do with the Seal Cull, as promised by next year that should hit some of them where it hurts in the pocket.
   comment# 10   - Leone' · Leeds, UK · Mar 25, 2008 @ 3:07pm

When all of you can say there are no Slaughter houses that exist in the USA or Britain and No calves are killed for veal and leather furniture and clothes, when cows are killed (stunned with a Gun Bolt) and hung from their hind legs and the full skin stripped from them before they are cut open and fully dead, then I will stop supporting the Seal Hunt...FWI no Whitecoats have been killed for 20 yrs. and are only used in propaganda by Heather Mills and Paul McCartney other so called celebrities
   comment# 11   - D. Macintyre · Canada · Jul 25, 2008 @ 7:15pm
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