April 29, 2013 – Canadian Sealers Association press release on EU Court ban decision:
The CSA is voicing its disappointment in the frivolous way the court vaguely attempted to justify it’s decision with respect to the appeal by the Canadian seal industry to have the EU ban on seal products overturned. Notwithstanding the fact that there are several states within the Union, harvesting or beginning to issue seal licenses to harvest seals, the EU has isolated the east coast Canadian seal industry and with its colonial attitude, is attempting to starve it into submission. At the same time it is ignoring the fact that our rural people support their families, with income derived from the marine environment, which by the way includes seals and all our sealers have to be trained and certified in humane harvest and quality related practices. In addition a viable sealing industry will ensure that seal populations will be kept to sustainable levels and that a balance will be maintained between seals and all other species in the ocean.
April 25, 2013 From the office of Hon .Minister Keith Ashfield
Joint Statement by the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Member of Parliament for Nunavut, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) and Minister of Health, and the Honourable Keith Ashfield, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans on the EU Court of Justice Decision on the Seal Ban Challenge by Canadian Inuit Groups
Our government commends the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the Fur Institute of Canada and other Inuit and industry groups for bringing this challenge forward to the European General Court to defend an important, traditional, sustainable and humane Northern harvest.
The Canadian government’s position has been clear: the ban on seal products adopted in the European Union was a political decision that has no basis in fact or science.
Canada firmly believes this ban is contrary to the EU’s World Trade Organization obligations and will continue to defend Canadian interests in this regard on the world stage. The Canadian government will continue to send a strong message that we are serious about defending our legitimate commercial seal harvest.
The facts are that the Canadian seal hunt is sustainable and humane. The harp seal population is estimated at 7.3 million animals, over three times what it was in the 1970s and the grey seal population has grown 30 times. Moreover, the hunt is well-regulated and uses practices that have been scientifically proven to be humane.
The seal provides healthy, traditional sustenance for many coastal Canadians, practical and beautiful pelt products and jobs for many families in rural areas.
Press Release source: DFO-MPO