Taiwan joins the team, bans seal products

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Taiwan joins the team, bans seal products

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One thing is for sure: nobody is benefitting from the seal hunt anymore, with the possible exception of the politicians who use it some sort of intentionally misleading talking point.

Last week, Taiwan announced that it would be banning the trade of commercial seal products.  This is lousy news for the flailing seal hunt industry, since Taiwan was the third largest consumer of marine mammals in Asia and the fourth largest in the world.   Perhaps even more importantly, it represented part of the Asian market upon which the industry has pinned its last hopes.

34 countries have now banned seal products, excepting those procured by aboriginal hunters, including the entirety of the European Union, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Switzerland, Mexico, the United States, and now, Taiwan.

In the meantime, Canada continues to defend this ridiculous farce of a hunt in the name of “national identity” and at the cost of our international reputation.  And reputation aside, it’s also costing us all a lot of money.  Seal hunting has been subsidized for at least two decades now, and it’s getting more expensive all the time.  In 2012, for example, the government of Newfoundland and Labrador actually loaned $3.6 million to a company called Carino Processing Limited, allowing them to purchase and stockpile the many seal pelts and blubber for which there is no market.  And after the European Union announced its ban on harp seal products in 2009, economist John Livernois found that ending the seal hunt would save Canada a minimum of $6.9 million per year. Despite this, the government has appealed to the World Trade Organization to fight the ban at an estimated cost of $10 million in tax dollars.

You can learn more about the seal hunt at our info page.

beater seal

It is still legal to hunt baby seals like this one, since the law only prohibits the hunting of "whitecoats"--seals fewer than 11 days old.


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