I'll ask CVMA to confirm the above claim. If they do, I'll contact the various organizations that disregard it and ask them for their take.
The harp seal population in Canada is healthy and abundant.
The population is nearly three times what it was in the
1970s. This is due, in great part, to the strict conservation
measures Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) has in place,
and our commitment to the sustainable management of all seal
In Atlantic Canada there has been, and continues to be, a hunt
for harp and hooded seals. Sealing brings important economic
benefits to small communities where other opportunities may
not exist. Seals are an important natural resource, that,
when harvested in a responsible manner, provide valuable
income to thousands of Canadian sealers and their families.
In September 2002, veterinarians from the Canadian Veterinary
Medical Association (CVMA) issued a Special Report on Animal
Welfare and the Harp Seal Hunt in Atlantic Canada. Independent
observations of the seal hunt made by representatives and
veterinarians of the CVMA were reported, and compared to
observations made by the International Fund for Animal
Welfare (IFAW). The study concluded that a large majority of
seals taken during the hunt (98 per cent) are killed in an
acceptably humane manner.
The hunt of harp (whitecoat) and hooded (blueback) seal
pups has been banned in Canada since 1987. Regulations also
prohibit the trade, sale, or barter of the fur of these pups.
Management measures for the seal hunt are based on sound
conservation principles and a commitment to strong,
peer-reviewed scientific advice. Quotas are set at levels
that make the continued health and abundance of the herd the
main priority. Following extensive consultations with industry
stakeholders, a new multi-year management plan is being
developed prior to the major sealing activity in 2006.
To help ensure proper conservation, DFO will continue to
conduct at-sea surveillance and dock-side checks, monitor
quotas, check sealers for proper licences and observation
permits, as well as ensure humane hunting practices,
compliance with Marine Mammal Regulations, and the proper use
of hunting instruments.
Monday, February 27, 2006
Rather quickly too. Credit for that.