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Canadian Seal Products Disgust Inuit Sealers – Greenland Bans Canadian Seal Pelts

January 6, 2006

Canadian Seal Products Disgust Inuit Sealers - Greenland Bans Canadian Seal Pelts

The annual Canadian seal slaughter is now being condemned by traditional indigenous sealers.

Greenland and Denmark have banned Canadian sealskins from their markets. The Greenland government took the decision to distance the aboriginal Greenland hunt from the Canadian commercial seal hunt. In a comment to the Danish newspaper Politiken, Mr. Aqqaluk Lynge, Chairman of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference, stated, "In contradiction to the Inuit hunters the Newfoundlanders use nature as a slaughterhouse."

Canada has long tried to misrepresent the annual seal slaughter as indigenous despite the fact that the aboriginal peoples of Newfoundland, the Beothuks, were completely exterminated by the Newfoundlanders.

In recent years, Canada has enlisted the support of Canadian Inuit groups to reluctantly defend the slaughter. The Greenland Inuit are free to criticize the hunt because they have no reason to fear economic reprisals from Ottawa unlike their cousins in Canadian controlled territories.

The decision came about due largely to Thor Hjarsen who is a well known Danish conservation biologist. He took the issue to the Danish media.

Captain Paul Watson salutes the efforts by Thor Hjarsen and the decision by the Greenleand and Danish governments. He also applauds the Inuit Circumpolar Conference for speaking out against something which has long been an embarrassment to traditional Inuit seal hunters.

"The Newfoundlanders and Magdalen Islanders have nothing in common with the Inuit hunters," said Captain Watson. "I do not support any seal hunting but I acknowledge that the Inuit do not indulge in the abject cruelty and the incredible waste that the Canadian hunters proudly wallow in. The Inuit take what they need. The Canadian seal killers want to take it all. The Inuit have some measure of respect for their prey. The Canadian seal killers have demonstrated only disrespect. The Inuit hunt seals whereas the Canadians exterminate them."

Over the past two years, Canada has exported more than 90,000 sealskins to Greenland. Many Danish citizens purchase sealskin garments believing they are supporting the Greenland Inuit sealers by doing so. But today, well over one third of all the sealskins on the Greenland market originate in Canada. What this means is a significant revenue loss for the Canadian sealing industry, and therefore, this decision by Greenland and Denmark is an important milestone in the international boycott against Canadian fish and seal products.


 

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