The Canadian sealing industry is not the only one feeling the pain from the EU ban on imports of seal products into Europe. Surrounded by a ballooning seal population reaching 12 million, Greenland is seeing the effects of the ban on their way of life in this report for Deutsche Welle Germany online, by Malcolm Brabant from Ilulissat in Greenland.
“Greenland and its colonial big brother Denmark are appealing to the European Union to lift the ban on commercial seal hunting. Greenlanders fear the end of a way of life. ”
“Greenlanders insist their methods of dispatching the marine mammals are humane. Most hunters use rifles. And according to their figures, Greenland has more than 12 million seals. The hunters are only “harvesting” 150,000 a year.”
Full Deutsche Welle story is here:
Jim Winter, past CSA president left 2 comments to this article on the DW website:
Inuit, whether they be Greenlandic or Canadian, kill seals for the same reason, in the same way, as we in Newfoundland and Quebec kill them…To earn an income to feed their families. All sealing is commercial sealing. We kill within the scientifically established quotas based on population studies. The numbers are not the question. The issue is simply … It is either right or wrong. If killing seas is immoral as the WTO and EU politicians say then, logically, it is immoral for anyone of any race. If it is immoral to kill seals then why is it not immoral to kill pigs, sheep, cows or boar or any other animal? As George Orwell put it in his book “animal farm” … paraphrase: All animals are equal except some are more equal than others….. and that is a slippery slope to argue.
When Canada’s management regime more than doubles a specie’s population (now approximately 7.5 million harp seals) while allowing fishermen to take their annual quotas, is it a conservation issue? No. Harp seals never have been listed either as an endangered or threatened species by any reputable international conservation agency (CITIES for example).Killing seals is not pretty, but it is humane, as found by reputable studies conducted by the International Veterinary Working Group (vets from Canada, the European Union and the United States) and others time and time again. The only negative studies have been arranged and paid for by animal rights groups. Sealing is the sustainable use of a natural resource: green and ecologically appropriate.
There is only one Canadian seal hunt, a commercial hunt, carried out by Inuit and Caucasians for the same reasons in the same way. Like all rural peoples, sealers do not have salaries. They sustain themselves through a series of work activities, and the total of this income allows them to continue living in the villages that have been their home for generations. From Greenland to Namibia, the United States to Norway, and Russia to the EU (yes – The EU legally kill seals in the Baltic and North Seas), it is the same. The Inuit Circumpolar Conference (ICC) has has made it clear to EU politicians that it objects to their “exemption” for Aboriginal people on the grounds that it is meaningless in market terms, reflects a colonial mentality and is little short of racist: but having a colonial mentality they pay no attention. Canadian sealers are strictly licensed.
The government, monitors the actions of the fishermen, manages the hunt and sets quotas and humane standards under rigorous scientific guidelines. It is the best managed wildlife slaughter in the world. However the UE does none of the above.Sealers, like other rural people, use animals to produce products like food, clothing, medicine, artisan products, art and souvenirs.The skin (fur and leather), fat, flippers and carcasses( both meat) are prepared on the boat for shore delivery. Any carcasses for which there is no market are left on the ice to return to the ecosystem and become food for birds, other marine mammals, fish and crustaceans. Thus, there is no problem disposing of the offal as with a land-based abattoir. What could be more “green”?
The sad reality for rural fishermen, farmers, hunters, trappers, and ranchers is that we live in an urban world, wherein the “Bambi” syndrome” has permeated the consciousness of city dwellers. Urban people don’t make the connection between their food, clothing and other products of daily life and the killing that produces those products. Animal rights fanatics understand this and use the “bambi syndrome” to further their goal of ending man’s use – not just killing but all use – of all animals for any reason.Sealing is the perfect vehicle for them because it is bloody and the animals are cute and cuddly and perfect for free media attention. Seals are merely their tactic not their goal.. Their goal is to eliminate the jobs of fur trappers, fur farmers, cattle ranchers, sheep and pig producers, those who raise lambs, those who kill fish and crustaceans, seafood mongers, designers, manufacturers, retailers and anyone else involved with the use of animals.
Animal rights group’s propaganda has raised hundreds of millions of dollars from urban people, on the backs of fishermen, through their attacks on sealing. These groups know that they can easily, and for free, get their message into the mainstream press, as most mainstream media are urban based and profit/ratings driven.They understand that providing demonstrations, celebrity spokespeople, pictures of half naked ladies and presenting their message as “conservation” sells newspapers, magazines, TV shows and helps the careers of Knee-jerk, unquestioning, uncritical journalists. This kind of journalism is the animal rights movement’s prime PR tool. They use Millions of dollars to lobby venal politicians in the EU, USA and elsewhere and get laws, based on nothing but their “philosophy”, passed denying their citizens the right of choice. Based on laws passed anti-sealing is one of the most successful propaganda campaigns of the last 85 years.
The animal rights philosophy held by less than 3 percent of Westerners is being sold to politicians and media as the conservation values of all of us: animal rights is not animal conservation, is not animal welfare. The ultimate victims, after Caucasian and Inuit Canadian sealers, will be all rural people who kill animals for a living. Propaganda denies democracy. Owned EU and USA politicians in the pockets of these multi million dollar American headquartered animal rights groups pass laws for their friends/masters denying EU and American citizens their right of choice — their democratic rights.