International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)

International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)

May 10, 2011 10:09 ET

IFAW: Seal Hunt Extended in Meaningless Gesture

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 10, 2011) - The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) condemns Canada's Department of Fisheries and Oceans' (DFO) decision to extend the seal hunt season for Newfoundland and Labrador fishermen, saying it is an arrogant show of defiant refusal to admit the truth. The animal welfare group says the commercial seal hunt is a dying industry, noting that prices for seal pelts remain low, that very few sealers took part in the annual slaughter this year and that extending the sealing season is unlikely to offer any benefit to fishermen this year.

The DFO announcement says the hunt is extended "until further notice", but it seems highly unlikely that many more seals will be killed this year.

"Like most of the Harper government's announcements that claim to support sealers, this supposed extension of the seal hunt season is meaningless in the real world" said Sheryl Fink, Director of IFAW's Seal Program.

"With only 37,609 seals killed so far out of a quota of 400,000, and with so few hunters taking part this year, it must be particularly embarrassing for the Canadian government to try and defend the millions of taxpayer dollars that were spent to prop up the sealing industry. However, extending the length of the seal hunt season is not going to save this cruel, wasteful, unnecessary, and dying industry."

IFAW is calling on the federal government to end the commercial seal hunt and to invest in alternatives for sealers and their communities, rather than wasting taxpayer dollars to prop up the cruel industry which negatively impacts our international reputation and trade in other areas.

About IFAW

IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) was established in 1969 and its founding campaign was in opposition to Canada's commercial seal hunt. IFAW has more than 40 years of experience raising awareness, documenting and opposing the cruel commercial hunts for seals in Canada and around the world.

For more information on the campaign read IFAW's blog, visit our website and follow us on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.

Sheryl Fink is available for media interviews.

Contact Information

  • Michelle Cliffe
    Global Communications Lead, Seals
    IFAW Canada
    647 986 IFAW (4329)
    Twitter: @michellecliffe @ifawcanada