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.

Honourable Keith Ashfield, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans
The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health and Minister for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and the Honourable Keith Ashfield, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, at Northern Lights - Business and Cultural Showcase in Ottawa on February 2, 2012.

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.

 

For more information:

Barbara Mottram
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
613-992-3474