Press releases > Seal hunting
Roger Gale calls for ban on trade in seal products after seeing cruelty of Canadian hunt
(London – April 30 2008)
North Thanet’s MP, Roger Gale is pushing for a ban on the trade in seal products after witnessing the cruelty of Canada’s annual commercial seal hunt.
Roger joined the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) at Westminster to view shocking footage of this year’s hunt shot by IFAW monitors in recent weeks.
Contrary to claims by the Canadian government that new regulations would make this year’s hunt the most humane ever, IFAW filmed numerous instances of seals suffering slow and painful deaths after being clubbed or shot, with many being hooked or skinned while still alive.

Roger said:
“I am saddened to see that since my own visit to the hunt several years ago absolutely nothing has changed for the better. 
Roger signing the IFAW poster
Despite the Canadian government’s claim that this year’s hunt would be more humane the slaughter is just as cruel and it is appalling that this has the tacit support of the Canadian Government and its agencies.  It is time for Europe to ban the unnecessary trade in seal products so that we play no further part in this cruelty.”

Robbie Marsland, Director of IFAW UK, said: “IFAW opposes this hunt because it is unacceptably cruel. The footage speaks for itself – the new regulations are a sham and the cruelty continues. I have been to the ice and witnessed the suffering first hand. It is time to ban the trade in seal products.”
This year, the Canadian government issued a quota for 275,000 seals to be killed, with new regulations calling for the bleeding out of seals to be conducted at some point ‘where possible’.
The hunt began on March 28 and is still going on. Seals are killed mainly so their fur can be used in the fashion industry, with most of the carcasses being left to rot on the ice.
IFAW and other animal welfare groups are campaigning for an EU-wide ban on the trade in seal products. Belgium, the Netherlands, Slovenia and Croatia already have national bans in place, along with the US and Mexico. Germany and Italy are working towards introducing similar legislation.
Members of the public who would like to see a trade ban can email European Commissioner Peter Mandelson by visiting

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