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February 20, 2013

Humane Society International Addresses Canadian and Norwegian Positions at WTO

Humane Society International/Canada

  • The Canadian government consistently tries to blur the lines between Inuit subsistence sealing and the commercial seal slaughter in Atlantic Canada. HSI/Rebecca Aldworth

GENEVA — Rebecca Aldworth, executive director of Humane Society International Canada, issued the following in response to positions of the Canadian and Norwegian delegations at the World Trade Organization regarding a derogation for products of traditional Inuit seal hunts in the European Union commercial seal product trade ban.

“Like most Canadians, the European Union agrees that indigenous people should receive special consideration, and for that reason has exempted products of traditional Inuit seal hunts from its prohibition on commercial seal product trade. Yet my government has largely been silent at the World Trade Organization hearings while Norway has repeatedly made false claims that the exemption for Inuit products is not compliant with the European Union’s WTO obligations. The Canadian government consistently tries to blur the lines between Inuit subsistence sealing and the commercial seal slaughter in Atlantic Canada. Clearly, it does not serve the Canadian government’s agenda of promoting commercial sealing to allow an exemption for Inuit seal product trade. If the Canadian government truly cared about Inuit people, it would not be basing its challenge of the EU prohibition on commercial seal product trade in any way upon this exemption.”

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Media Contact: Dean Pogas, 514.395.2914, dpogas@humanesociety.org

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.

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