International Fund for Animal Welfare

International Fund for Animal Welfare

March 29, 2007 09:58 ET

IFAW outraged by authorized slaughter of 270,000 harp seal pups

IFAW outraged as Canadian government authorizes slaughter of 270,000 harp seal pups

Attention: Assignment Editor, Environment Editor, News Editor, Science Editor, World News Editor OTTAWA, CANADA--(CCNMatthews - March 29, 2007) - IFAW condemned today's announcement that the TAC of harp seals for 2007 has been set at an unsustainable 270,000.

"It is absolutely appalling that the minister is ignoring the evidence from his own scientists showing that the harp seal population simply cannot sustain hunting at this level," said Sheryl Fink, IFAW Senior Researcher.

Figures provided by government scientists show that any TAC set above 165,000 will see the harp seal population continue to decline.

"This decision has no basis in science or conservation-it is a cynical decision made solely for short term political gain," said Ms Fink.

"The government ignored similar warnings when it came to managing the cod fishery and the result was catastrophic.

"The Harper government seems incapable of learning from the mistakes of the past. It is clear that regional political considerations, not science and conservation, are determining its so-called management decisions.

"With harp seals facing a growing threat from global warming and poor ice conditions, continuing the hunt at the unsustainable level announced today is nothing short of irresponsible.

"Today's announcement demonstrates the total lack of credibility this government has on conservation and environmental issues. A golden opportunity to show leadership and action on global warming has been squandered."

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