Seal Meat: Canada Announced Seal Deal With China, Animal Rights Activists Not Happy

By on Jan 13, 2011 in Animals, Asia, Business, Current Events, North America Comments
Seal
Seals in danger for the seal meat deal
Image Credit: Zimbio.com

Gail Shea, Canada’s Fisheries and Oceans Minister reportedly announced the agreement with China on Wednesday in a conference call from Beijing, where she is trying to promote Canadian seal products.

“We know China is a strong potential market. 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 multi-million dollar business,” Shea was quoted saying.

According to several news sites, Shea and the fisheries ministers of Newfoundland and Labrador and Nunavut were finalizing the deal which will take effect on Thursday. The trade agreement was said to be a huge opportunity for the Canadian seal industry.

“The Chinese market holds great potential for the Canadian seal industry,” Shea said in a statement from Beijing.

Meanwhile, animal rights activists in China and Canada are not happy with the deal. Reports said that animal rights activists rallied on Wednesday at the Canadian government for shipping overseas what they say “products of cruelty.”

“The Canadian sealing industry is mistaken if it believes that China will willingly become a dumping ground for products of cruelty the rest of the world has rejected,” said Lu Di, director of China Small Animal Protection Association, in a news statement. “Chinese people care just as much about animals as the citizens of Europe and America. My organization and many others will work to ensure China never becomes a significant market for Canadian seal products.”

On the other hand, Canadian authorities said that seal hunting is humane, sustainable and the deal will provide income for isolated communities.

Mary Simon, president of the National Organization said that she was “pleased” that the Chinese government did not accept “myths and distortions” of seal hunting.



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