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Sealed: another cruel deal

This week, HSI (Humane Society International) put out a press release after rallying the support of over 40 groups in China, which we have also joined in deploring the import of seal meat into China. This release follows a trip to Beijing by Canadian Fisheries Minister Gail Shea, who signed a cooperative arrangement with Chinese officials that she said would give Canada’s sealing industry access to the world’s largest consumer market.

The agreement “will allow the export of edible seal products from Canada, such as meat and oil, to China,” Ms Shea said. “For Canada, sealing is about more than fur. The trade of other seal products, such as oils and meat, represents a growing share of what is already a multimillion-dollar business.”

Sadly Ms Shea underestimates the anger of Chinese animal-welfare groups, who are outraged that the country is being used as a dumping ground for seal products. In 2009, the European Union, which formerly accounted for almost a quarter of seal products, banned the import of seal products and now Canada is attempting to open up the markets elsewhere.

Seal products are clearly not wanted or required by so many people across the country. Please see HIS’s full press release here.

And some clear quotes from China NGOs that seal products and the blood of a violent industry are not welcome here:

"Seal products have been rejected by the majority of Canadians and people in Europe and North America. It is insulting for Canada to market these products in China. The perception of Canada's sealing industry that the Chinese eat everything and the Chinese people do not care about animal suffering is indicative of the racist and cultural imperialistic attitude towards non-western societies still held by some Canadians." – Professor Lu Di, Director of China Small Animal Protection Association.

“I cannot believe that a civilized nation like Canada would consider promoting this cruel and outdated industry in China. We are confident that Chinese people will join the world community in saying no to the products of this baby seal slaughter.” – Qin Xiaona, Director of Beijing’s Capital Animal Welfare Association.

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