Seal hunt on thin ice

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The pathetic annual seal hunt is now underway in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and on Newfoundland’s northeastern coast.

The government, against the advice of their own scientists, recklessly set the quota at a very ambitious 400,000 seals.

But now that Russia has joined the United States and the European Union by banning the import of Canadian seal products, many sealers seem reluctant to participate.

In a recent news report from CTV Canada, Jim Winter, president of the Canadian Sealers Association said, “Right now we’re in a situation where we don’t have very many markets. If there is no market, no buyers, there’s not much point in taking the seals.”

In addition to the decline of markets for seal products, politicians are starting to question the economics of this industry (and about time!)

This past January, NDP MP Ryan Cleary from Newfoundland and Labrador was quoted by the CBC as saying, “Part of our history is also whaling, for example, and the day came when the whaling industry stopped. Now, is that day coming with the seal hunt? It just may be.”

Reports suggest the Canadian seal hunt is only generating just over $1 million each year. This amount doesn’t come close to covering the $4 million needed for the Canadian Coast Guard to simply monitor the area.

Also, while the government no longer makes direct contributions to the seal hunt, it subsidizes research into developing new markets for seal products and is currently spending our tax dollars promoting and marketing seal products overseas, particularly in China. Don’t forget to add those costs to the recent news that the Harper government is paying a media company $75,000 to monitor and respond to online postings about the seal hunt to correct any ‘misinformation’.

This is a lot of money to waste on something that the majority of Canadian don’t even want.

It also begs the question, why is Canada still allowing this cruel and wasteful hunt to continue?

Some are saying that perhaps it’s all just a political game because Harper wants to control the parliamentary swing seats in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Whatever the case, one thing is for certain, Canada’s seal hunt is on thin ice.

Please voice your opposition to Canada’s seal hunt. Write:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Office of the Prime Minister

80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2
Fax: 613-941-6900
E-mail: pm@pm.gc.ca

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