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Post under ‘Universal Declaration’ tag

The Fur Institute of Canada supports the Universal Declaration of the Ethical Harvest of Seals

1 April 2021 at 10h01


OTTAWA, April 1st, 2010 – “The support of the Universal Declaration of the Ethical Harvest of Seals by the Fur Institute of Canada demonstrates the extent of popular support for this industry and its commitment to ethics and conservation”, said Senator Céline Hervieux-Payette who lead the project.


The Fur Institute of Canada, a national non-profit organization based in Ottawa, was established in 1983 on the initiative of the Federal, Provincial and Territorial Wildlife Ministers. Its overall mission is to promote the sustainable and wise use of Canada’s fur resources. The Fur Institute’s Sealing Committee acts as a network for seal-related issues and works with stakeholders to provide balanced stories on Conservation, Marine Management, Animal Welfare, Socio-Economics and Human Health.


“On behalf of the Board of Directors, members of the Fur Institute of Canada and our Seals and Sealing Network, I am pleased to offer this letter of support for The Universal Declaration on the Ethical Harvest of Seals” wrote Robert B. Cahil, the Executive Director of the Fur Institute of Canada. “Like Canada’s 60,000 trappers who have embraced international trapping standards, sealers support and promote a conservation and welfare ethic in earning their livelihood from the sea. […] Initiatives like “We Care” will help to give a voice to a growing movement to further promote these values,” he added.


The Declaration has also received the support of the governments of Newfoundland and Labrador and Québec along with the Fur Council of Canada and the international organization for animal conservation IWMC World Conservation Trust based in Switzerland.

Senator Céline Hervieux-Payette urges all governments and concerned organizations to promote and study the application of the Universal Declaration on the Ethical Harvest of Seals written by a panel of experts (www.sealsonline.org).

Animal rights groups are the real slaughterers

5 March 2021 at 15h44


Response to the article by Bob Hepburn in “The Star”

Understanding why the market for seal related products has imploded is very simple. Groups such as PETA, HSUS, IFAW or Sea Shepherd claim to be defending animal rights and use seals to generate insane amounts of donations. This money serves to destabilize the sealing industry. By obtaining the closure of the European market, they themselves are causing the problem.

Mr. Hepburn believes that rural Canadians live the Toronto lifestyle; they wake up, get some coffee at Starbucks, work in a skyscraper, come home and put a frozen meal in the microwave for dinner. But they can’t just put on a suit and a tie and become a banker, they do a job that has been perfected over hundreds of years and no one can deny them the right to earn a living through the sustainable harvesting of animal resources like seals.

The role of the senate is to protect the interests of minorities and regions. Mr. Hepburn’s argument that seal hunting represents only 0.05% of Newfoundland’s economy is irrelevant. 15 000 people earn a living from seal hunting and this activity represents up to 35% of their family income.

Animal rights groups are the real slaughterers, they single handedly sabotaged an entire industry.

In 2009, I presided a group of scientists to draft a Universal Declaration on the Ethical Harvest of Seals. Supported by the Governments of Newfoundland and Labrador and Québec it balances animal welfare while protecting the wellbeing of communities.

 Why would we be embarrassed by hard working Canadians who follow the law and take extraordinary measures to follow stringent standards set by veterinarians who actively promote animal welfare?

Next week when my colleagues and I will eat seal meat in the parliamentary restaurant we will not be doing this as a “gimmick” like Mr. Hepburn says; but as a testament to the solidarity of parliamentarians who support Canadians who fully contribute to the prosperity and diversity of this country.



Dear Editor,

Following the arguments of Bob Hepburn against the seal hunt (Opinion, 03/04), one would figure that he should be supporting efforts to promote seal products.  If seal hunting “makes little economic sense”, then why should we shun Senator Payette’s attempt to remedy the matter?

Many activists against sealing have an odd way of creating the problems they in turn complain about.  It is absolutely despicable the way these anti-animal-use groups are telling sealers and their families that their livelihoods just aren’t worth “enough” to allow them to continue - this after a forty year history of unfounded public degradation at the hands of the same groups.

I wonder how many other industries make up “only” 0.05 percent of their provincial economies, or amount to less than $15 million dollars in yearly revenue.  Canada’s bison meat exports last year were about $11 million - should we scrap that industry?  

Sure, their meat is tasty, but it doesn’t stand up to some of the seal I’ve eaten.


David Barry
Seals and Sealing Network


24 February 2021 at 17h46

I like carrots too!

Some anti-sealing vegetarians are upset. To garner public support, they are unfairly criticizing me for attacking all vegetarians. But they are wrong—hey, I like carrots!—and they are not fooling anyone.

If these individuals are particularly vindictive lately it is because they sense the tide is turning against them.

There has been a lot of bad news recently for opponents of the seal hunt. In December 2009, I tabled a motion in the Senate recognizing the right of coastal communities to earn a living from the use of animal resources. It was passed unanimously and received the support of the Government of Nunavut as well. In January 2010, the Government of Canada went on a trade mission to China and got positive feedback on developing markets for seal products. That same month, the Inuit of Canada and Greenland decided to put the European Union’s ban on seal products to the test in the European courts. One week ago, the Quebec government announced $192,527 in funding to market seal products. In addition, the Universal Declaration on the Ethical Harvest of Seals, which I introduced last year, is becoming better known as more people sign the petition and join the coalition (sealsonline.org).

Lastly, my recent trip to Nunavut and my meeting with the Minister of the Environment has definitely annoyed the anti-sealing vegetarians. The ban on seal products makes an exception for the Inuit and their personal consumption. But my very productive talks with the Minister and his clear commitment to help market seal products for the benefit of Inuit communities are a snub to sealing opponents.

So it’s not surprising that the anti-sealing vegetarians are in a panic. But rather than debate the issue, they are attacking me on the pretext that I am presenting vegetarians in a bad light. But no one, not Green Party candidate David Ruffieux, or Ms. Rondeau, who was quoted in Le Soleil, or any vegetarian group, spoke out when the Minister of Fisheries was hit with a pie (which constitutes an assault) or when the Facebook photo of Sara Green, the current Miss Newfoundland, was tampered with. As long as this silence persists, it will be hard to distinguish between pacific vegetarians and those who aren’t.

As for Ms. Rondeau, who stated on February 23 in Le Soleil that I got angry, I would like to challenge her remarks and provide some clarification. Chantal Rondeau called my office on February 16 but introduced herself as Chantal Dupuis, a journalist with the Journal de Québec. She said she was building a case against sealing, which I thought was an extreme position for a journalist to take. I called the managing editor, Jean LaRoche, who confirmed that no one named Chantal Dupuis worked for the paper. Those are the tactics being used by the anti-sealing vegetarians. They don’t need me to tarnish their image and they shouldn’t be giving me any lectures.

Here the supermarket is the land!

10 February 2021 at 11h44

Iqaluit - Day 2

Yesterday afternoon, I had the pleasure to meet the Minister of Environment of Nunavut, the Honorable Daniel Shewchuk.
“Here the supermarket is the land” said the Minister who nevertheless rejects the Europeans unfair exemption for traditional Inuit hunting provided it is limited to personal consumption. Nunavut claims the right to give Inuit the opportunity to improve their standard of living through trade in seal products.
His message is clear: the lifestyle of the Inuit is linked to the seal hunt and the Inuit fate depends on the success of the commercial seal hunt in Canada. For a market needs a critical mass to be viable.
Therefore, there are not two hunts in Canada, but actually one. Nunavut is totally supportive of the Atlantic region.
The Minister is very open about the work we can do to ensure the sustainability of the seal hunt in Canada. Like me, the Minister wants to better inform the public, educate about the realities of the hunt in Nunavut and its interdependence with Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador.
The Minister supported what we must unite our forces and it is in this spirit that I submitted the Universal Declaration on the Ethical Harvest of Seals. I welcome the positive reception this Declaration has received. The Declaration will be submitted to the Nunavut Cabinet in the coming days.
There is no doubt that all the seal hunters in Canada and all those who defend this cause like myself have a great ally in the name of  Minister Daniel Shewchuk.

Nunavut Minister of Environment Daniel Shewchuk will meet with Senator Céline Hervieux-Payette in Iqaluit today to discuss the Nunavut seal harvest

9 February 2021 at 11h02


I will meet Nunavut Minister of Environment Daniel Shewchuk  in Iqaluit today to discuss the Nunavut seal harvest. During my visit to Iqaluit, I will also travel by ski-doo to the floe edge some 40 kilometers out of town to take part in a seal hunt. I will witness first-hand the traditional and modern-day practice that has been central to Inuit cultural identify and well-being for generations.

I will also use this opportunity to discuss the Universal Declaration on the Ethical Harvest of Seals with the Minister.

Press Release


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