Seal of Disapproval: Countries Reject Products of Canadian Slaughter

Animal welfare organizations rejoice as Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan ban importation of harp seal products.


Seal of Disapproval: Countries Reject Products of Canadian Slaughter
Harp seals are named for the harp shaped patterns that sometimes emerge on their blubber. (Photo: Getty Images)

It was one of the most common images adorning the walls of middle schools in the late ’70s—the bewhiskered harp seal, only his coal black eyes distinguishing him from the crisp Canadian snowscape. But this was a complicated cuteness: we also learned in middle school that harp seals were hacked to death every year in Canada, giving an aura of tragedy to the sweet, blubbery innocents that gazed at us from bulletin boards and cafeteria walls.



At last, it appears there is good news for the harp seal. While the animals still face threats posed by climate change, reports that this week Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan have banned the import of harp seal products. These nations join the U.S. and the European Union in rejecting the byproducts of this horrific Canadian custom.

Please click here to sign the petition asking Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper to end the slaughter for good. Sheryl Fink, Director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s seal program, says, “The writing is on the wall. The Canadian government knows seal products are not wanted, and has had ample time to transition sealers out of this industry with compensation. Instead they have done nothing but dispute the rights of other nations by challenging seal product bans at the WTO. As Russia follows in the steps of the EU and closes its doors to seal products, it’s time to say enough is enough and stop the seal slaughter once and for all.”