Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

April 25, 2009 13:00 ET

Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Responds to Humane Society of the United States

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 25, 2009) - The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, today issued the following statement in response to comments by Rebecca Aldworth of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS):

I am always disappointed in the HSUS' campaign of misinformation regarding the Canadian seal hunt, and Tuesday's press conference with Rebecca Aldworth was no exception. Ms. Aldworth, accompanied by Senator Mac Harb, showed once again that she is willing to twist the facts and mislead the population to achieve her goal.

And what is this goal, exactly?

Ms. Aldworth has gone on the record to say that, in fact, it's not about the seal hunt. Rather, it's about shutting down all "commercial trade in wildlife products". Those are her words.

This statement didn't come as a surprise to me or my officials at Fisheries and Oceans Canada, or to anyone else who knows about the HSUS campaign. However, it should serve as an eye opener for many of my European Union counterparts who are currently considering giving in to the calls by Ms. Aldworth and her supporters to ban the trade and transit of all seal products in the EU.

We have seen time and again a complete disregard for the importance of the trade in products from this humane and sustainable hunt for our coastal communities. We also see a clear lack of logic in the insistence of anti-sealing advocates to concentrate on animal welfare for wild animals versus domestic animal use. Finally, we see a refusal to consider the environmental implications of failing to ensure a balance in nature.

I caution my European counterparts to keep this in mind when they vote on the ban proposal. Today, it's the seal hunt. But tomorrow, it will be another hunt. Rebecca Aldworth and the other animal rights groups will not stop until all commercial hunts are abolished and the livelihoods of countless families are destroyed.

I hope that Senator Harb will also heed this word of caution and see the hardship that this campaign will cause, and the future repercussions it can have all over the world.

Gail Shea

Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Contact Information

  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa
    Phil Jenkins
    Media Relations
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa
    Office of the Minister
    Ann Matejicka
    Director of Communications