Harp seals are the primary target of Canada's commercial seal hunt, but now that the Russian Federation, Kazakcstan and Belarus has prohibited further import and export
of fur from the animals, Canada is under pressure to do the same.
"Global markets for seal products are closing fast and Canada increasingly stands alone in its promotion of the seal hunt," said Rebecca Aldworth, executive director of Humane Society International/Canada. "The world is clearly moving beyond commercial sealing and it is time Canada did the same."
The European Union and the United States have historically been Canada's largest trading partners, but both have ended their trade of seal products. China and Taiwan also have banned the trade. However, Canada's commercial seal hunt is the largest slaughter of marine animals on earth, killing more than 2 million in the last 10 years. Many of those killed are less than 3 months old.
It is not just global pressure that is on Canada. Polling within the nation has shown that 72 percent of Newfoundland residents support a prohibition on killing seal pups less than three months old, a measure that would end the commercial seal hunt altogether.