Posted on 16 February 2010
OTTAWA, February 16, 2010 – Less than three days after Senator Hervieux-Payette’s visit to Iqaluit, the government of Nunavut gave its support to the Universal Declaration on the Ethical Harvest of Seals, the result of the senator’s successful efforts and an excellent and open dialogue with the Minister of the Environment, the Honourable Daniel Shewchuk.
Written by a team of seven experts and scientists from six Canadian provinces and territories and the United States, the Declaration aims to establish common ethical principles for all seal-hunting peoples based on the three responsibilities of animal welfare, the well being of human communities and the protection of species and ecosystems.
“I am delighted that the government of Nunavut is adding its voice to that of the government of Quebec and the government of Newfoundland and Labrador and reaffirms the interdependency between the seal hunt carried out in Nunavut and that carried out in the rest of Canada” said Senator Céline Hervieux-Payette, who lead the project.
In her letter, the premier of Nunavut, the Honourable Eva Aariak, emphasized the fact that the cultural and commercial future of Nunavut is tied to the commercial success of the seal hunt in Canada : “as you know, the recent European Union seal products ban, while aimed at the Atlantic harp seal harvest, has severely impacted the market for Nunavut ringed seal pelts,” wrote the Premier. “Sealskins are used domestically for garments and crafts and are sold as art and at auctions, providing income which finances further hunting activities and contributes significantly to the local economy,” concluded the leader of a government that is asserting the right to market seal products for the benefit of the Inuit people.
In addition to the support of three provincial and territorial governments, the Declaration has the backing of the Fur Council of Canada and the international organization for animal conservation IWMC World Conservation Trust based in Switzerland.
Senator Céline Hervieux-Payette urges all governments and concerned organizations to promote and study the application of the Universal Declaration on the Ethical Harvest of Seals.
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