March 15, 2011
HSI Canada Commends the National People’s Congress of China for Steps to Ban Seal Product Trade
MONTREAL (Mar. 15, 2011)—Humane Society International/Canada applauds the National People’s Congress (NPC) of the People’s Republic of China for accepting two legislative proposals to ban Canadian seal product imports to China. The NPC, currently in session, has received several legislative proposals on animal protection. The two anti-seal product trade proposals were sponsored by dozens of the current NPC members. Both legislative proposals called on the NPC to ban seal product imports and pointed out the brutality of seal slaughters.
“It is clear that China will not be a dumping ground for products of cruelty the rest of the world has rejected,” said Rebecca Aldworth, executive director of Humane Society International/Canada. “This is one of many demonstrations of Chinese opposition to seal product trade that have occurred in recent months. HSI applauds the actions taken by the members of China’s National People’s Congress. We hope that the NPC will take the next step of including the proposals in the legislative agenda.”
The NPC is the highest state body in China, allocated the power to determine major national issues. The proposed resolutions before the NPC are another blow to the Harper government’s false promises of a lucrative Chinese market for seal products. Earlier this year, more than 40 Chinese organizations urged Canadian Fisheries Minister Gail Shea and sealing industry representatives to leave China during a visit to promote seal fur and other products to Chinese consumers. On March 13th, a nationwide campaign against seal product trade was officially launched in Beijing, beginning a 12-province movement across the Greater China region. It is clear—now more than ever—that China will never become a significant market for Canadian seal products.
The United States, Canada’s largest trading partner, has prohibited trade in seal products since 1972, and the European Union, Mexico and Croatia have recently followed suit. A global boycott of Canadian seafood products, that will continue until the seal slaughter is ended, already has the support of thousands of businesses and hundreds of thousands of people. With global markets for seal products closing fast, and the seafood boycott costing Canada's economy many times the value of the seal slaughter, Humane Society International/Canada is calling upon the Canadian government to implement a one-time buyout of the commercial sealing industry.
A 2010 poll by Ipsos Reid found half of Newfoundland sealers holding an opinion support a federal sealing industry buyout—a plan under which sealers would be compensated for their licenses, and additional funds invested in economic alternatives in the communities involved.
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Humane Society International/Canada is a leading force for animal protection, representing tens of thousands of members and constituents across the country. HSI/Canada has active programs in companion animals, wildlife and habitat protection, marine mammal preservation and farm animal welfare. HSI/Canada is proud to be a part of Humane Society International—one of the largest animal protection organizations in the world, with more than eleven million members and constituents globally—on the Web at hsicanada.ca.