Very disturbing issue – [ http://www.harpseals.org/index.php ] Seal hunt on Canada’s East Coast starting November 15 and ending May 15. My first thought about this: “cut up my Canadian passport and ship it back to Ottawa.” (Thanks, but no thanks for it.). On second thought: “who on Earth is using those baby seal furs ?”
Who is importing this kind of product ? As always, it is a question of Demand and Supply. If there were no countries using those seal pelts, (and mind you, some of the meat is also exported), there would not be any seal hunts (this including the hunts that are also conducted in Norway, Iceland, Greenland and other northern countries. But foremost Newfoundland, Canada. [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seal_hunting ] It is clear from having lived in Canada for almost 40 years, that nobody here can dare to walk around in any fur coat, without getting pelted or spray painted. On third thought: “of all those wildlife organizations and environmental charities that I regularly contribute to as a donor, why cannot they intervene in such butchery ? Their voices are silent ? Because of governments who regulate hunts and hunting ? Since Canada is still largely under the umbrella of the Queen of England, why cannot the Royals intervene in such issues ?
Who are the importers or users of seal products, who imports them ? There are now many countries who have prohibited the import of harp seal furs, example: [ http://www.harpseals.org/help/demand_side_efforts/index.php ] . So, what are the markets ? Although China is a large market for “exporting” fur products of all kinds of animals [ http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-clothing/fur/chinese-fur-industry/ ] ( [Canada’s biggest market for seal pelts is Norway. Carino Limited is one of Newfoundland’s largest seal pelt producers. Carino (CAnada–RIeber–NOrway) is marketing its seal pelts mainly through its parent company, GC Rieber Skinn, Bergen, Norway. Canada sold pelts to eleven countries in 2004. The next largest were Germany, Greenland, and China/Hong Kong. Other importers were Finland, Denmark, France, Greece, South Korea, and Russia. Asia remains the principal market for seal meat exports. (from Wikipedia). ]
Canadian seal product exports reached C$18 million in 2006. Of this, C$5.4 million went to the EU. In 2009, the European Union banned all seal imports, shrinking the market. Where pelts once sold for more than $100, they now fetch $8 to $15 each.
Things are changing with many bans in many countries. Still the question remains: “who still wears those furs ?” and “in which countries are seal pelts and fur coats made of baby seals (white) still being imported ?”
!!! More bans are needed, and not just during the hunting season !!!