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Seals: Europe is Closing Its Eyes While Canada Wants to Keep Them Wide Open

Seals: Europe is Closing Its Eyes While Canada Wants to Keep Them Wide Open

Seals: Europe is Closing Its Eyes While Canada Wants to Keep Them Wide Open

Published on 29 April 2013 News & Photos by Senator Céline Hervieux-Payette (retired)

OTTAWA, April 26, 2013 – Senator Hervieux-Payette denounced the decision of the General Court of the European Union, which confirmed the moratorium on Canadian seal products unilaterally proclaiming that ‘the fundamental economic and social interests of Inuit communities’ are preserved.  Interestingly, Inuit communities were at the forefront of the legal challenge on the European boycott and they state just the opposite- their economic and cultural futures are threatened.

The Senator believes that the decision of the European Court is not in the interest of the seals, since they are already subject to slaughter without supervision in some U.S. states and even in Europe, such as Scotland.

‘The European denial, influenced by vegetarian extremist groups, prevents the establishment of a market and state supervision over good hunting practices worldwide”, said the Senator. “Europe is closing its eyes when it comes to the situation at hand while Canada wants to keep them wide open.’

The Senator explained that the Mediterranean monk seal, as well as the Bluefin tuna fished by Europeans, are endangered species.  The harp seals, on the other hand, has a population that has been growing for decades.

‘Europeans believe that our hunting practices do not meet their ethical standards. But what kind of standards are they when their own seal species is almost extinct and they’re not even acting upon it?’, questioned the Senator.

‘I conclude by quoting a documentary by Carmen Butta- ‘le petit chasseur de l’Arctique’ (‘The Small Arctic Hunter’), broadcasted on Arte on January 19, 2013- “Campaigns against the massacre of baby seals were highly publicized. Public opinion was heavily mobilized on the fate of baby seals at the expense of the Aboriginal people. Today, seals in the Arctic are many and it is the Inuit, the specialists of sustainable management of natural resources, who are now endangered”. ‘


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Maximilien Depontailler
Policy Advisor
Office of the Honourable Céline Hervieux-Payette, PC
613-947-8008 –