Desperate times: fur industry hopes to sell seal penises

grey sealWhen the demand for a product diminishes, a business can either create new demand or move on to another product. The fur industry, it seems, is looking to blow life back into a diminishing demand for a particular product to try and save the failing seal hunt: penises.

That’s right. They want to market and sell the penises of grey seals as sexual enhancement products to Asian markets.

According to CTV News, documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act indicate that the Fur Institute of Canada, which is continuously seeking ways to receive funding or promote the slaughter of seals in Eastern Canada, believes the market could be profitable.

At one time, an individual seal penis could fetch up to $650, CTV noted. But the inherent act of removing the penis from juvenile and adult males was deemed unacceptable by Canadians in the 1990s (coinciding with the marketing of Viagra) and the practice was stopped.

It’s important to understand that this proposal wouldn’t just open a market. It would require $9M to implement the plan, CTV reported, assuming buyers could be found to pay up to $4M in the first year. Effectively, the FIC is asking for a $9M taxpayer subsidy to sell a product, which Canadians and most Europeans believe is inherently inhumane, to Asian markets.

These are also the markets that have supported the use of tiger penises, shark fins and rhino horns for allegedly powerful medicines.

Friend of The Fur-Bearers and spokesperson for The International Fund for Animal Welfare Sheryl Fink had some choice words for CTV.

“It is an outrageous sign of desperation that our government is now considering wasting … tax dollars to peddle seal penis potions as aphrodisiacs," she said in an interview. “Surely this money could be better used to directly benefit fishermen and rural communities in Atlantic Canada.”

The Fur-Bearers couldn’t agree more.

Become a member of The Fur-Bearers today – the official opposition to Canada’s fur trade – and help us speak up for the animals and bring these barbaric practices to an end.


Work like our growing Living With Wildlife campaign is only possible with the support of monthly donors. Please consider become a monthly donor – for as little as $5 a month – and help us create a Canada that is truly fur-free.

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Join The Fur-Bearers today and help us protect fur-bearing animals in the wild and confinement. To become a monthly donor (for as little as $10/month – the cost of two lattes) please click here and help us save lives today. Your donation is tax-deductible.

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Established in 1953, The Fur-Bearers is a charitable, non-partisan organization whose goals are to end the commercial fur trade and promote solutions for wildlife coexistence in communities. Your donation is tax-deductible. Charitable registration number: 130006125RR0002

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