International Fund for Animal Welfare

International Fund for Animal Welfare

November 27, 2006 13:06 ET

Canadian government’s pro-sealing presentation to EU delegation

IFAW rejects Canadian government’s pro-sealing presentation to European parliamentarians

Attention: Assignment Editor, Environment Editor, News Editor, World News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor OTTAWA, CANADA--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 27, 2006) - Members of the European Parliament met with Canadian officials last week to discuss the seal hunt, but were instead presented with misinformation and a sharply biased pro-sealing agenda. IFAW (The International Fund for Animal Welfare - is shocked by the limited and narrow view of the hunt presented to the EU delegation by Canada's Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans, and calls for an opportunity to present a different perspective on Canada's commercial seal hunt.

IFAW representatives observed the committee's November 23rd hearing, having been restricted from making a formal presentation to the European delegation. Experts with the organization are troubled with the committee's presentation to the members of the European Parliament. After reviewing transcripts and minutes from the meeting, it is obvious that many key points were misrepresented, or overlooked and ignored. "The blatant misinformation presented at the formal hearings in an insult to the intelligence of both the European delegation and the Canadian public," said Olivier Bonnet, Director of IFAW Canada. "IFAW Canada is disappointed at how poorly Canadians have been served by our members of Parliament. IFAW's concerns regarding the ethics, management, conservation and sustainability of the hunt resonate with the majority of Canadians and yet were entirely ignored," added Bonnet.

Currently, the European Union is facing a critical legislative decision to move forward on a complete ban of all seal products. IFAW staff and supporters in Europe are similarly concerned with the Canadian committee's biased presentation to European officials, especially at such a crucial time. "We are disappointed that the Canadian government would not be held accountable to provide both sides of the issue to the European delegation," said Lesley O'Donnell, Director of IFAW's EU office.

Canada's commercial seal hunt is the largest hunt for marine mammals today. Just last year, over 350,000 seals were killed, 97% of which were under 3 months of age. International opposition to the hunt is increasing with bans in place in the U.S., Mexico, Croatia and Italy, while bans in Germany, Austria and the Netherlands are under discussion. To learn more about IFAW's campaign to end the Canada's commercial seal hunt visit

Contact Information

  • Marie-France Lettre, Communications Coordinator
    Primary Phone: 613-241-3982 ext. 225
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