From left: European Council President Charles Michel, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen met Friday in St. John's, Newfoundland. and Labrador.
The sealing industry, mainly present in Newfoundland and Labrador and Nunavut, has never recovered from the European embargo, in force since 2009, based on ethical concerns.
Hunters and processors acknowledge that the blood of animals on the ice creates shocking images, but they maintain that the hunting is carried out humanely. The animal does not suffer since, according to them, it dies instantly when slaughtered.
Fifteen years after the European Union adopted this ban, landings in Eastern Canada have reached 40,000 seals in 2023. This is less than a quarter of the landings in 2008.
< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen argues that the current EU ban strikes a fair balance since it includes an exemption that allows the trade in seal products hunted by indigenous communities.
To my knowledge, this system works very well, she said, a statement questioned by Doug Chiasson, executive director of the Fur Institute of Canada.
We have seen very few skins and products that have been exported to the European Union under the exemption, he says, highlighting the heavy paperwork required to certify products indigenous people.
In addition, there are only two organizations recognized by the European Union as being able to certify that products come from indigenous hunters. It is the government of the territory of Nunavut and the government of the Northwest Territories. There is no recognized organization on the east coast.
Justin Trudeau says that if Canada and the European Union do not #x27;don't hear about the seal hunt, this dispute does not harm the overall relationship, which he considers very fruitful.